Holders Arsenal burnt by Forest fire
Last updated: January 11, 2018 by Leon Marshal
Arsene Wenger experienced defeat in the third-round of the FA Cup for the first time in his 21-years at Arsenal as Championship side Nottingham Forest knocked-out the holders 4-2 in the world’s oldest football competition.
The #Wengerout brigade received a belated Christmas present when Arsenal were well beaten by the Championship side at the City Ground in Nottingham. This surprise result means the most successful team ever in the FA Cup have fallen at the first hurdle as they looked to retain the prestigious trophy.
Eric Lichaj scored twice either side of Per Mertesacker’s equaliser before penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell in between Danny Welbeck’s goal resulted in a 4-2 win for the Championship side.
The last time that Arsenal suffered defeat at this stage of the competition was a few months before Wenger’s appointment back in 1996. Since then, Wenger has become the FA Cup maestro, winning the competition a record seven times.
Worryingly for fans of the Gunners, this follows on from failing to qualify for the Champions League this year, also for the first time in 21 years. Is this just a blip or a sign of a deeper-rooted problem at the Emirates?
Wenger watched his team lose from the stands, serving the first of his three-match bans which he received after admitting ‘abusive’ behaviour towards Mike Dean in the 1-1 draw with West Brom. The Frenchman was incensed when a penalty was awarded in the 89th minute, a penalty which denied his side three points.
Defeat cost Mark Hughes job at Stoke
Whilst Arsenal’s defeat has hit the headlines, Stokes City’s defeat at the hands of League Two Coventry City cost manager Mark Hughes his job. Just hours after the final whistle in the 2-1 defeat by Coventry, Hughes’s contract was terminated.
Hughes, who had overseen the Potters for four and a half years had initially played down the defeat saying that it “might be a blessing”, hinting that the club could concentrate on league safety. But with the club flirting with the relegation zone, the owners must have seen this shock defeat as a call to action and decided enough was enough, ending the 54-year-old’s relationship with the club. Hughes became the seventh manager to be dismissed in the Premier League this season.
Minnows Yeovil face the might of United
Yeovil Town, who are the lowest ranked team left in the competition, drew 12-times winners Manchester United in the standout fixture for the fourth round with Hull City v Nottingham Forest also looking intriguing.
In other highlights of the third-round West Ham face a replay with Shrewsbury after only drawing 0-0 at New Meadow. Both the Manchester clubs are safely through with United producing a late show at home to defeat Derby 2-0 and City brushing aside Burnley with a 4-1 victory. Liverpool saw off neighbours Everton 2-1 with new £75m signing Virgil van Dijk becoming an instant hero by scoring the winner in his first Merseyside derby. Tottenham ran out easy 3-0 winners at home to AFC Wimbledon and Newport County produced a great display to beat Leeds United 2-1 at Rodney Parade.