Arsene Wenger Experiences First FA Cup Third Round Exit

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Arsene Wenger has been condemned to his first FA Cup third-round exit as managerless Championship side Nottingham Forest stunned holders Arsenal at the City Ground losing by 4-2 on Sunday

Wenger has lifted the famous trophy on seven occasions – including three of the last four years – but saw his much-changed side undone by two Eric Lichaj goals along with penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell in a classic cup tie at the City Ground.

The 4-2 defeat means that Wenger won’t make it four FA Cups in five years and, indeed, in a few days another domestic cup exit could be on the cards as the Gunners face Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final clash at Stamford Bridge.

The hosts took the lead when Eric Lichaj headed in from close range, although the advantage lasted just three minutes as Per Mertesacker followed up after Rob Holding’s header had struck the post.

Lichaj reclaimed the lead for a Forest side led by caretaker boss Gary Brazil, the American defender scoring a spectacular dipping volley from the edge of the area a minute before half-time.

Forest pulled further clear in the second half when Ben Brereton sent David Ospina the wrong way from the penalty spot after Holding upended Matty Cash.

Danny Welbeck reduced the deficit for Wenger’s much-changed side after Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith failed to hold a through-ball.

But Arsenal’s first FA Cup third-round defeat since January 1996 – in a replay against Sheffield United – was confirmed courtesy of Kieran Dowell’s 85th-minute penalty, before Forest’s Joe Worrall was shown a straight red card in the closing stages for a late tackle.

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