Arsenal out of the FA Cup
Most of us know Arsenal hold the record for the most FA Cups won (12) and are also the holders for ‘England’s oldest competition’. Having said that, fans and, of course, players were looking forward to playing in the Cup again and potentially picking up another trophy!
On the 4th of December we saw Arsenal get drawn against former European champions Nottingham Forest. Arsenal vs Forest was always ‘the game to watch’ back when Brian Clough was Forest’s manager.
Last year Arsenal took on Forest in what is now called the Carabao Cup. Forest were at home but it made no difference as Arsenal dominated the game and won 4-0!
Despite last year’s dominance, this year was TOTALLY different!
Nottingham Forest’s right back, Eric Lichaj, opened up the scoring when he headed in from Everton loanee Kieran Dowell’s powerful set piece.
It didn’t take long for the holders to respond as 3 minutes later Arsenal centre-back Per Mertasacker picked up the rebound when Rob Holding headed against the post; a very sloppy goal for Forest to concede.
Just before half time, Lichaj picked up his second goal of the game when the ball was very poorly cleared from Holding. Lichaj touched, chested, then fired! The ball floated in the top left corner and Ospina didn’t even move.
For the 3rd game in a row Arsenal gave away ANOTHER penalty when Holding tripped up Forest midfielder Matty Cash. Man of The Match contender Ben Brereton, Nottingham Forest’s 18 year old striker, put the ball down on the spot and slotted the penalty away with ease to make it 3-1.
With a bit of fortune, Danny Welbeck (who was poor on the night) managed to roll the ball into the net when Forest keeper Jordan Smith fumbled it. Forest were in for a nervy last 10 minutes.
The nerve clearly didn’t get to the hosts as they got ANOTHER penalty when Mathieu Debuchy fouled former Gunner Armand Traore. Kieran Dowell was the man to take the penalty this time. Dowell scored the penalty but Arsenal players were convinced he committed a ‘double touch’. Referee Jon Moss went over to his fellow official to discuss whether to allow the goal or not. No one knows what was said between the two officials but Moss pointed to the centre spot and the goal stood!
Despite Forest defender Joe Worral picking up a straight red card in the later stages of the game, the hosts were able to hold on and knock the holders out of the FA Cup in only the 3rd round!
Did you know that was the first time Arsene Wenger has ever been eliminated in the 3rd round of the FA Cup? Arsenal’s previous faliure to progress was their last third round tie before Wenger’s appointment, losing to Sheffield United in 1995!
Arsenal have twice eliminated Nottingham Forest from the FA Cup, in 1978/79 and 1992/93 – they went on to win the trophy in both of those seasons, shame it couldn’t happen this time!
Can The Gunners get a result at Stamford Bridge?
Tonight Arsenal take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in The Carabao Cup semi-final!
Arsenal are still without Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Olivier Giroud as I’m writing this.
Arsene Wenger will continue his touchline ban. Despite being in the stands, Wenger will be looking to redeem the fans after the pathetic performance displayed against Nottingham Forest Sunday night!
Chelsea are without a win against Arsenal in 4 games; Antonio Conte will be looking to end the streak.
Chelsea’s latest signing, Ross Barkley, is looking ‘unlikely’ to feature in the London derby.
With Arsenal currently sitting sixth place in the Premier League and no longer participating in their most won cup (FA Cup), this could be one of their best chances of winning silverware this season.
This will be the first time Arsenal and Chelsea will be playing with the new VAR system in tac. Many, many Arsenal fans will be pleased to hear the news having previously been given a lot of poor decisions against them e.g. Calum Chambers’ ‘handball’ against West Brom.
Do you think The Gunners will be able to bring back a realistic aggregate scorline to the second leg? Let us know what you think by tweeting us @ArsenalInsider!
Alexis Iwobi faces fine over pre-match party claims!
Arsene Wenger has stated that youngster Alex Iwobi will be fined if it is confirmed he was at a ‘drug’ party 36 hours before Sunday’s FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest.
A video has been leaked showing Iwobi at a party in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Arsene Wenger said this about the incident: “It is impossible and unacceptable to go out within 48 hours of a game!”
Despite being at a ‘drug’ party, Wenger has said Iwobi was not involved in any drugs or alcohol from what he believes.
Do you believe Iwobi has done this and does he deserve more than a fine? Tweet @ArsenalInsider what you think, we would love to hear your opinion!