Nottingham Forest shocked the defending Champions of FA Cup with a superb display. It was a brilliant performance and a fantastic match which had it all- goals, two penalties, contentious decisions and a red card. Remarkable match indeed! First, have a glance towards the Arsenal and Nottingham side- How they have shaped up for the big occasion.
Arsenal XI: David Ospina; Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Rob Holding; Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Mohamed Elneny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi; Danny Welbeck.
Nottingham Forest XI: Jordan Smith; Eric Lichaj, Joe Worrall, Michael Mancienne, Armand Traore; Ben Osborn, David Vaughan; Ben Brereton, Kieran Dowell, Matthew Cash; Zach Clough.
Here are the talking points of the Match :
1. Nottingham Forest Had Drawn The First Blood In The Match :
Nottingham Forest took the lead in the match. Maitland-Niles conceded a free-kick out wide and Dowell’s delivery was powerful, with Lichaj able to head home near the line. Ospina was nowhere near it and Lichaj had acres of room.
It was a brilliant delivery from Dowell but questions had to be asked of the Arsenal defence, who failed to realise that Lichaj was onside due to the wall. That made it far too easy for Forest and they capitalised.
2. Mertesacker Equalised For Arsenal Within Moments :
Few moments later, Mertesacker equalised for the Gunners in the blink of an eye and it was again a free-kick that proved the opportunity. Walcott clipped into the middle where Holding headed onto the post, with the ball then falling to Mertesacker- who took one touch with his chest and then struck home.
3. Lichaj Restored The Lead For Forest :
Lichaj was on the scoresheet again at the dying moments of the match. Arsenal headed the ball away after Cash found room down the right but the clearance only went as far as the defender. He took a touch on the chest and volleyed a looping effort towards goal, and Ospina was nowhere near. Forest ended the first half with 2-1 lead on the cards.
4. Penalty Awarded To Forest Due To Some Nonsense Defending From Rob Holding :
Rob Holding kicked out and wasn’t aware of Cash’s presence, so there was a chance for Forest to put one foot in the fourth round as a penalty was given. Brereton got the goal that he deserved and Nottingham Forest were in dreamland. The 18-year-old didn’t feel the pressure at all, sending Ospina the wrong way.
5. Arsenal Gave One Back :
Arsenal got one back at 79th minute of the match as Smith, who had been superb, made a crucial mistake. He charged off his line but lost the ball, giving Welbeck an easy finish.
6. Controversial Penalty Given To Forest And A Double Kick Too Awarded As A Goal :
Again a penalty was given against Arsenal as they sloppily gave the ball away and former Gunner Armand Traore skipped forward. It was a clumsy tackle from Debuchy and Forest had the chance to restore their two-goal advantage.
Dowell was given the benefit of the doubt but it had hit him twice. He kicked it into his other foot. The drama was on very much in the match.
7. Red Card Shown To Joe Worrall But Forest Survived With 10 Men :
The game had a red card too, as Joe Worrall was given his marching orders. This game had everything for the spectators. Four minutes were added on. In the injury time Nketiah pounced on a loose ball and chipped a shot over the top of Smith, which was superbly saved. Walcott was charging down the rebound but hit the side netting. Arsenal tried everything but after all it wasn’t their day in the office. The game ended with Forest being victorious with a 4-2 margin. Nottingham Forest created history in front of their home fans to knock the defending Champions out of the FA Cup.