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07th Jan 2018

Arsenal disgusted after two debatable decisions for one penalty in FA Cup tie

The Magic of the Cup

Reuben Pinder

The magic of the FA Cup.

It’s been a wonderful weekend of FA Cup upsets. Leeds were knocked out by Newport County, Fleetwood Town earned themselves a replay against Leicester, as did Shrewsbury Town against West Ham.

And to top it all off, Arsenal were knocked out in the third round for the first time in 20 years by Nottingham Forest in an enthralling 6 goal thriller.

It was the first time for Arsene Wenger to be knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round.

Forest won the game 4-2, with defender Eric Lichaj hitting a superb brace for The Reds. Their other two goals came from the penalty spot, with both Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell netting from 12 yards.

Lichaj’s second goal, which gave Forest a 2-1 lead on the stroke of half time, really was something else.

Danny Welbeck responded for the Gunners to make it 3-2, and to ensure a nervy finish at the City Ground. But Forest, playing under Caretaker manager Gary Brazil netted again to cap a memorable afternoon at Trentside.

Arsenal supporters and Arsene Wenger alike weren’t best pleased with some of the refereeing decisions that went against their side.

Firstly, to give Forest their second penalty of the game, after Mathieu Debuchy’s tackle from behind was deemed to be a foul, despite him appearing to take a slice of the ball.

Just to rub salt in the wounds, Forest got the rub of the green as the referees decided to ignore claims of a double touch from Kieran Dowell as he slipped taking the penalty.

A goal was given and any chance of Arsenal salvaging a replay disappeared. Forest secured a historic cup win to go through to the fourth round and deservedly so despite a couple of questionable decisions, as some fans (and many neutrals) observed.

Arsène Wenger was not able to give the fourth official an earful though, as he was up in the stands serving a touchline ban for… criticising refereeing decisions.

We suspect he’ll be doing plenty of criticism in the aftermath.

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