Abject Arsenal dumped out of FA Cup by Forest

Apologetic Arteta admits Gunners 'were not good enough' following 1-0 defeat at the City Ground

Sunday, 9th January — By Steve Barnett


FA Cup Third Round


MIKEL Arteta could only apologise after Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest this evening (Sunday).

Lewis Grabban struck from close range in the 83rd minute to score the only goal at the City Ground. It’s the second time in four years that the Championship club have knocked the Gunners out of the competition in the third round.

“They won, they scored a goal and we didn’t. We were not good enough and we have to apologise for it,” admitted Arsenal boss Arteta after the final whistle.

“I don’t want to use excuses, I expect the team I put out to do better and when you don’t in the cup you are out.

“Today showed we were not capable of winning against Forest away from home and we didn’t put in the level to win the game. It’s a collective issue and today we have not done it.

“What we have done today is nowhere near the level and standards that are required. We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action, much more. We were not at our level.”

Considering the FA Cup was one of only two trophies that Arsenal could have won this season, along with the Carabao Cup, it was surprising that Arteta didn’t elect to pick the strongest team available to him.

Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney both started on the bench, and the lack of strength in depth in the Gunners’ squad was put on show for all to see.

Arsenal, wearing all white as part of their “No More Red” anti-knife crime initiative, struggled to find a way past an organised Forest side throughout. Eddie Nketiah missed their best chance when he headed wide in the second half with the goal at his mercy.

It was as close to the Forest goal as the visitors would get, with Arteta’s side failing to register a single shot on target all evening.

In the end Grabban made sure the Gunners got exactly what they deserved: nothing. The substitute slid home Ryan Yates’ inviting cross seven minutes from time to earn Forest a well-deserved 1-0 victory – and a home tie against Leicester City in the next round.

It would have been even worse for Arsenal had it not been for Bernd Leno, who reacted well to palm away an effort from Philip Zinckernagel and a James Garner free-kick.

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Spence, Worrall, McKenna, Cook, Garner, Colback, Johnson, Zinckernagel (Ribeiro Dias, 75), Yates, Davis (Grabban, 68)
Substitutes not used: Horvath, Figueiredo, Carvalho, Bong, Costa Silva, Ojeda, Taylor

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric (Kolasinac, 90+1), White, Holding, Tavares (Tierney, 35), Sambi Lokonga, Patino (Lacazette, 69), Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Nketiah
Substitutes not used: Biereth, Hutchinson, Chambers, Pablo Mari, Ramsdale, Oulad M’hand.

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