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Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal: Report, player ratings and reactions


FA Cup

Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal: Report, player ratings and reactions

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest Match Report :

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

First Half :

No surprises as to how this game had started as Arsenal dominate possession. However, Nottingham Forest were keen to put the Gunners under pressure when they had the ball.

An impressive start for Forest too, who had the games first actual opening. It’s Brereton again as Arsenal conceded possession, with the youngster beating Mertesacker to the ball but had seen a tame effort collected by Ospina.

Arsenal tried to put pressure on Forest as their attack with a slick passing move ended with Walcott whipping a central ball to Welbeck’s head. He didn’t connect with the ball properly though and it bounced wide of the mark.

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.

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.

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.

Second Half :


Second period had begun in pretty much the same fashion as we saw throughout the opening 45 minutes, with Arsenal dominating possession but not doing anything with it.

First change of the game was a Forest one, as the hosts introduced Tyler Walker- the son of 1991 FA Cup finalist Des Walker. Clough was the man replaced.

Few minutes later, 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.

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.

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.

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.


Nottingham Forest

Smith – 6/10
Lichaj – 9.5/10
Worrall – 6/10
Mancienne – 7/10
Traore – 8/10
Vaughan – 6/10
Osborn – 6/10
Cash – 7.5/10
Dowell – 8.5/10
Clough – 6/10
Brereton – 8/10

Subs Ratings:

Walker – 5/10
McKay – N.A
Mills – N.A


Ospina – 5/10
Debuchy – 4/10
Mertesacker – 6/10
Holding – 6/10
Willock – 5/10
Elneny – 5.5/10
Nelson – 8/10
Maitland-Niles – 6/10
Walcott – 7/10
Iwobi – 6/10
Welbeck – 7/10

Subs Ratings:

Nketiah – 6/10
Akpom – N.A

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