Arsene Wenger’s incredible FA Cup Third Round record has been ended after his side lost 4-2 to Championship side Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners went behind to an Eric Lichaj header in the 20th minute after the Nottingham Forest defender took advantage of Arsenal’s deep-lying players to score from close range.
Mertesacker restored parity just minutes later though with the centre-back finishing from inside the box for the visitors to the City Ground.
But on the stroke of half-time Lichaj scored again with an incredible volley into the top corner of David Ospina’s net.
Things then got worse for the reigning FA Cup holders when Ben Brereton made it 3-1 from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after a foul by Rob Holding.
Danny Welbeck took advantage of an error from Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith to score from a tight angle but the home side restored their two goal advantage when Matthew Cash converted another penalty, with the foul this time coming from Mathieu Debuchy.
With a weak team selected by Wenger that was missing Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, Arsenal were unable to fight back. Joe Worrall was sent off in the 88th minute for the home side but it didn’t matter to Nottingham Forest who advance to the Fourth Round.
The defeat for Arsenal means Wenger’s record of never having lost in the Third Round of the FA Cup is over. Incredibly the Frenchman, the most successful manager in FA Cup history, had managed to go 21 Third Round ties without defeat before Sunday’s loss to Nottingham Forest.
Wenger also boasted an incredible record against lower league teams, winning 38 of 39 prior going into today’s game.
Wenger had to watch the match from the stands as he served the first of his three-match touchline ban for confronting referee Mike Dean