- Nottingham Forest condemned Arsenal to a shock defeat to knock them out of the FA Cup, as Mikel Arteta’s men were victims of their sloppiness.
- Bernd Leno: 6/10
- Cedric Soares: 4/10
- Ben White: 6/10
- Rob Holding: 6/10
- Nuno Tavares: 2/10
- Albert Sambi Lokonga: 4/10
- Charlie Patino: 4/10
- Bukayo Saka: 4/10
- Martin Odegaard: 6/10
- Gabriel Martinelli: 5/10
- Eddie Nketiah: 4/10
- Kieran Tierney: 6/10
- Alexandre Lacazette: 4/10
- Sead Kolasinac: N/A
Nottingham Forest condemned Arsenal to a shock defeat to knock them out of the FA Cup, as Mikel Arteta’s men were victims of their sloppiness.
The Gunners were sloppy from the start of the game and endured a tough night as the visitors took advantage of one brilliant play to settle the scores. Nottingham Forest looked like a determined side and took their one brilliant chance to knock the 14-time champions out of the competition.
Mikel Arteta fielded a strong team with Ben White, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli all playing in the side. A full debut was handed to teenage star Charlie Patino, and yet Arsenal could not spark up an inspiration to see off the game.
Instead, problems began in the first half when left-back Nuno Tavares, displaying sloppy gameplay on the flank, was instantly taken off by Arteta for Kieran Tierney. The Scotsman’s arrival did not spark anything different in the side, as Arsenal eventually finished the game with zero shots on target.
That stat is a bit appalling considering how good Arsenal have been in recent weeks. Even when there was the slightest of hope after Alexandre Lacazette came on, Nottingham Forest substitute and their top goalscorer Lewis Grabban snatched the headlines by finishing off a good move set up with a brilliant run from Djed Spence on the right flank.
Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target against Nottingham Forest.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2022
It is game over for the Gunners in the FA Cup, and they can now focus their efforts on the League Cup semi-final with Liverpool and then the North London Derby. As for their game, Arsenal need to improve a lot to prevent such a disastrous performance again this season. Here’s how the Arsenal stars fared in their shock loss to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
A quiet evening for the German stopper, who was good whenever called upon, making one good save to deny Nottingham Forest the lead. He was unable to stop the strike by Lewis Grabban, though, after a defensive error in front of him.
Cedric Soares: 4/10
Cedric offered nothing from the right-back spot, and there was a non-existent partnership with Bukayo Saka on the flank. Instead, he chose to stick around deep and progress the ball to no use for his teammates.
Ben White: 6/10
A reliable presence at the back and one of the players with the most touches in the game after Rob Holding. He tried to pass the ball out from the back and sometimes be the creative passer from deep. White eventually was caught out by Grabban, who scored the match-winner.
Rob Holding: 6/10
In a similar performance to White, Holding had a quiet game at the back. He chased down Djed Spence before the goal but could not prevent the inevitable.
Nuno Tavares: 2/10
Nuno Tavares is taken off. He’s fuming and throws his gloves to the floor. pic.twitter.com/I7KagUTqEg
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) January 9, 2022
Tavares did not respect the opponents in the early stages and took things for granted. He lost the ball nine times in his 30 minutes on the pitch and gave Arteta no option but to take him off for his sloppiness.
Albert Sambi Lokonga: 4/10
Most of Lokonga’s passes were sideways rather than his usual forays forwards. All in all, Arsenal badly missed the experience and leadership of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in central midfield.
Charlie Patino: 4/10
A very pressure-oriented full debut for the teenager, who showed flashes of his talents. Eventually, Arsenal fell short of quality in midfield, as they badly missed their regular senior pros there.
Bukayo Saka: 4/10
It was an anonymous display from the otherwise effective Saka, who did not have options to combine on the right-hand side. Cedric did not provide any support for him there, and the 20-year-old generally had an off day.
Bukayo Saka’s game by numbers vs Nottingham Forest:
7 duels won
4 chances created
4 fouls won
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2022
Martin Odegaard: 6/10
Probably Arsenal’s best player in the attacking third, Odegaard often looked to create chances out of nothing, although barely anything could transpire due to the quality of his teammates out in front.
Gabriel Martinelli: 5/10
Martinelli had his occasional burst of pace and a few changes here and there, but beyond that, he was ineffective. His failure to combine with Eddie Nketiah greatly influenced the game and its overall outcome in the final third.
Eddie Nketiah: 4/10
If this was an audition for Nketiah ahead of a summer move, then he failed miserably. His reluctance to combine with his teammates, especially Martinelli, cost Arsenal badly in the final third.
Kieran Tierney: 6/10
Tierney replaced the sloppy Tavares early in the game and put a decent shift on the left flank. He got forward well and tried to combine with Martinelli without the desired effect.
Alexandre Lacazette: 4/10
Before he came on, Lacazette was already being painted as the messiah, but it proved otherwise. The Frenchman had minimal contribution and could not produce an Arsenal revival.
Sead Kolasinac: N/A
A puzzling substitution given only three minutes were left on the clock, and Arsenal needed an equaliser. Did not play enough to receive a rating.