Mertesacker blasts Arsenal players who wasted 'last chance'

Ruben Hill
January 10, 2018

Per Mertesacker had equalised for Arsenal in the first half and Danny Welbeck pulled Arsenal back to 3-2 down with 12 minutes left but the Premier League side could have few complaints at a bitter exit.

After knocking holders Arsenal out of the FA Cup on Sunday, Nottingham Forest have appointed former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka as their new manager.

Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round - Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal - The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain - January 7, 2018 Nottingham Forest's Ben Brereton scores their third goal from the penalty spot.

Forest went on to win the game 4-2 in an action-packed third round tie featuring two penalties.

"It's hard to take because for those players who played today, that was probably a last chance to show up and show the manager that they're ready to play more games". Once, twice, three times, and at that level, you can not afford that.

"Overall you can congratulate Nottingham Forest for an outstanding performance - sharp, winning decisive challenges, always risky going forward and overall they deserved the win today".

Manager Arsene Wenger made wholesale changes to the side that drew with Chelsea during the week but even with many first-choice names absent it was alarming to see Arsenal outplayed by a callow Championship side.

“We have many players on the edge and we play again on Wednesday, ” he said.

“I believe we had an experienced team – eight or nine internationals. Some days you have to say Nottingham Forest were better than us and that was the case.

United States global Eric Lichaj opened the scoring for the home side with a header midway through the first half but Per Mertesacker equalised for the away team just three minutes later.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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