FA CUP: HOLDERS ARSENAL CRASHOUT 4-2 TO NOTTINGHAM FOREST
ARSENAL crashed out of the FA Cup yesterday at the third round for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s his 21-year-reign as Arsenal boss – as managerless Nottingham Forest pulled off the result of the round.
The Frenchman was forced to watch from the stand as he served the first game of his three-match FA ban for critical comments about refereeing standards.
This was no fluke result let it be said here Nottingham Forest were the better side and it was very sad to see Jon Moss awarded Forest TWO penalties in a quite sensational tie which crammed full of controversy, confusion, cock-ups and GOALS! Though the 2nd penalty conceded by Debuchy looked a good tackle.
Amid the mayhem Forest emerged victorious even though they ended the match with 10 men after Joe Worrall was sent off for a tackle from behind on Arsenal sub Chuba Akpom, his second booking of the day.
However Wenger’s decision to make nine changes from Arsenal’s midweek draw with Chelsea backfired spectacularly as Forrest ran out deserved winners.
The FA Cup King’s crown didn’t just slip from Wnger’s head – it was knocked clean off by Forest caretaker boss Gary Brazil.
iwobi and Mertasacker cant believe they are going out of the cup
A sensational first half double from USA international Eric Lichaj – either side of Per Mertesacker’s leveller – saw the Championship strugglers go in 2-1 in front at half-time.
But any hopes Arsenal had of putting their house in order after the break disappeared when Rob Holding sent Matty Cash tumbling in the box and Ben Brereton sent David Ospina the wrong way from the spot.
It took a blunder from Forest goalie Jordan Smith to let Arsenal back in briefly when he let the ball slip out of his grasp and Danny Welbeck rolled it into the empty net.
However the game then erupted in a dramatic finale as Forest were awarded a controversial second penalty.
Matthieu Debuchy i thought had won the ball clearly but ref Jon Moss pointed to the spot after Armand Traore tumbled after a lung-bursting run. I don’t know but i think the Rf got that on wrong. But it still takes nothing from what was a poor performance
Ospina was booked for his protests and the drama continued when Forest’s Kieran Dowell scored from the spot but appeared to slip and play the ball twice which according to the rules should attract a re-take
CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY BY KIERAN DOWELL
Arsenal’s Furious Protests where not taken however after a lengthy debate between Moss and assistant ref Edward Smart as Forest progressed to the fourth draw.
Arsenal’s shocking defeat could spell the end of Wenger’s reign in charge, With Former Club Captain Mikel Arteta Earmarked as a successor.
Calls rang out on radio shows for the frenchman to be saked as his time in charge is seriously Questioned again.
Speaking after the match, Wenger said: “I believe that overall we played against a Nottingham team who were sharp and dominated us from the front.
“We were a bit unlucky, but overall they were sharper and more dominant in the challenges, we lost too many challenges.”
When asked whether he picked the wrong team to start, he added: “That’s the inevitable question that comes in cup games, we have many players on the edge, we have to play again on Wednesday, we have got away with it before, but not today. Is it a selection problem? Maybe.”
And when the ex-Monaco boss was asked whether Dowell’s penalty should have stood, Wenger was keen not to address the incident.
He said: “I don’t want to talk about that anymore, I’m a bit tired of that.
“We have to respond quickly on Wednesday we have a big game, focus on that one, semi-final for the league cup, we have to respond quickly.
“You never put disappointment behind you, the only thing that can help is to focus on the next game. We have won the FA Cup three times in four years, it’s a competition we love.”