Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forest Spot on to Hand Cup Holders Early Exit; FA CUP REVIEW

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Forest Spot on to Hand Cup Holders Early Exit; FA CUP REVIEW

Article excerpt

ARSENE Wenger lost an FA Cup third-round tie for the first time yesterday as holders Arsenal crashed out against Nottingham Forest in an action-packed clash at the City Ground.

Wenger, who made nine changes to his starting line-up, has become the competition's most successful manager, winning it seven times since taking charge of the Gunners in 1996, but the country's longestserving boss was undone by Forest caretaker manger Gary Brazil.

Eric Lichaj scored twice either side of Per Mertesacker's equaliser before penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell sandwiched Danny Welbeck's goal in a 4-2 win for the Championship side.

Brereton tucked away the first penalty in the 64th minute after Rob Holding had brought down Matty Cash, and Dowell converted the second spot kick after Mathieu Debuchy was judged to have fouled Armand Traore five minutes from the end.

Forest defender Joe Worrall was shown a straight red card in the 89th minute for his challenge on Chuba Akpom.

Afterwards, Wenger refused to discuss the decisions to award two penalties to Forest. He told BT Sport: "I don't want to talk about that. I'm tired about that."

Wenger made nine changes from the team that started the midweek Premier League draw with Chelsea and, while he cited tiredness, admitted the decision backfired.

"That's the inevitable question that comes in a cup game," he added. "We had many players on the edge and play on Wednesday again. We didn't get away with it today."

Elsewhere, Newport staged a dramatic late comeback to dump Leeds out of the cup with a 2-1 victory at Rodney Parade.

Leeds, 53 places higher on the league ladder than Newport, led for most of a full-blooded third-round encounter after Gaetano Berardi's ninth-minute strike from distance found its way through.

But County equalised with 14 minutes left when Leeds defender Conor Shaughnessy sliced the ball into his own net, and substitute Shawn McCoulsky's soaring header sent them into the fourth round for the first time since the 1978-79 season. …

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