FA Cup round-up | Forest stun defending Champions Arsenal; Spurs through

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FA Cup round-up | Forest stun defending Champions Arsenal; Spurs through

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SportsCafe Desk

01/08/2018

In an incredible upset in the FA Cup, defending Champions Arsenal were knocked out of the oldest competition in the world by second tier Nottingham Forest 4-2 at the City Ground. Tottenham Hotspur, however, booked a place in the fourth round with a comfortable 3-0 win over Wimbledon at Wembley.

Nottingham Forest 4 – 2 Arsenal

In the biggest upset of the FA Cup so far, Nottingham Forest knocked out holders Arsenal, who fielded a second string side, at the City Ground yesterday. The signs were there right from the start as Forest began on the front foot with Eric Lichaj going close. It was the 29-year-old American who handed the hosts the lead as early as the 20th minute by getting at the end of a blistering freekick from Kieran Dowell to a head the ball in from close range. However, it took the visitors just three minutes to draw level with the hosts as Per Mertesacker followed up a Nacho Monreal header, that came of the post, and put the ball in the back of the net. But, Forest were not to be denied. After David Ospina made a couple of important saves, Lichaj belted a volley from outside the box into the top corner to take the hosts into the lead going into half-time.

It became worse for Arsenal in the second half as Ben Brereton scored from the spot after Rob Holding had committed a foul in the 18-yard box. After Danny Welbeck punished Jordan Smith for a terrible mistake at the back to make it a one-score game, Kieran Dowell got his name on the scoresheet as well after Mathieu Debuchy had made a horrible challenge inside the box to put an end to Arsenal’s fight. The only negative on the night for Forest was the dismissal of Joe Worrall for a straight red with just under two minutes of regulation time left.

Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 0 AFC Wimbledon

While the scoreline might suggest that Spurs finally had an easy run-in at the Wembley, it was anything but that. It was actually the visitors who had the first real chance of the night as Nadjim Abdou’s 20-yard scorcher could only be deflected onto the bar by Michel Vorm. The ball, though, came off the woodwork, hit the keeper and fell for Liam Trotter who couldn’t beat Vorm on the follow-up. Harry Kane came closest to opening the score for Spurs on the night but was denied a stunner by George Long in the Wimbledon goal.

The England striker was not to be denied in the second half though as he scored two goals in as many minutes (63’ and 65’) to put Spurs in complete control of the game. The quick goals seemed to be a killer blow for the visitors who just lost their way after the second. Their misery was compounded seven minutes later as a Jan Vertonghen screamer found the top corner to put an end to the contest.

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