Arsenal left the FA Cup early following their third-round defeat to Championship club Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening.

Nottingham Forest - Arsenal 1-0
Forest captain Lewis Grabban grabbed the only goal as the Championship club beat Arsenal to qualify for the FA Cup fourth round. (Image: Twitter/nffc)

Lewis Grabban scored the only goal of the match in the 83rd minute, making the most out of an excellent cross from Ryan Yates. Grabban, who is the club captain, started the match on the bench with newly arrived Keinan Davis in the initial 11. He came onto the pitch in the second half, 15 minutes before netting the clash’s decisive goal.

Eddie Nketiah missed a huge chance for Arsenal in the second half when his header from six yards out couldn’t find the net. Then the action moved to the other end where Leno pulled out two great saves to stop Phillip Zinckernagel and James Garner from scoring. But, the German keeper could do nothing in front of Grabban with seven minutes left in normal time.

Forest knocked Arsenal out of the third round of the FA Cup for the second time in four years, after doing the same in 2018.

Contrary to Arsenal’s Champions League aspirations, Forest sits mid-table in the English second tier. They hope to challenge for a playoff promotion spot this season. Forest lost its Premier League status in May 1999 and have been fighting to re-conquer it ever since.

Nottingham’s surprise pack will now host defending Cup winners Leicester City at the City Ground in the fourth round. Forest is looking to play in the fifth round of the competition for the first time since 2014.

Arteta: ‘We were not good enough and we have to apologize for it’

Talking to the media after the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said his team should not look for excuses following its Cup exit.

“They won, they scored a goal and we didn’t. We were not good enough and we have to apologize for it,” Arteta said. “I don’t want to use excuses, I expect the team I put out to do better. When you don’t play well in the Cup – you are out,” Artenta stressed.  “Today showed we were not capable of winning against Forest away from home and we didn’t put in the level to win the game. It’s a collective issue and today we have not done it.”

Arsenal will face Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday in the League Cup semifinal’s first leg. The Gunners are at +200 to win, while their opponents sit at +110. A draw is at +240. The bookies predict a high-scoring match, with a bet on more than two goals scored in the game at -150.

Arsenal is the third-favorite to lift the League Cup behind Chelsea (+100) and Liverpool (+190). Arteta’s boys stand at +350.