FA Cup 2017/18, Nottingham Forest 4-2 Arsenal: Player Ratings
Nottingham Forest pulled off the upset of the FA Cup third round, beating holders Arsenal 4-2 at the City Ground.
After Eric Lichaj’s 20th-minute goal was cancelled out by Per Mertesacker, Forest re-took the lead going into the break when Lichaj grabbed his second with a wonderful volley into the top left corner.
A penalty from the man of the match Ben Brereton then made it 3-1 before Danny Welbeck got Arsenal back into the match with 11 minutes plus added time remaining. However, another penalty, conceded by Mathieu Debuchy, was converted by Kieran Dowell to end any hope of Arsenal escaping with a draw.
Here are the player ratings from the match:
Jordan Smith – 6/10
Although Smith made a great save to deny Nketiah at 4-2, he made a horrendous mistake to allow Welbeck to score. Fortunately for him, it did not cost his side the win.
Eric Lichaj – 8/10
Lichaj made an incredible decision to move close to the keeper for his opener and went one better with his volley from outside the box to make it 2-1. He did find it difficult to deal with Nelson’s pace and trickery, but his two goals were incredible for a right back.
Joe Worrall – 6/10
Worral was solid defensively throughout, however, he did receive a second yellow card at the end of the match.
Michael Mancienne – 8/10
Mancienne did a terrific job at centre-half and acted as a leader all game. Welbeck was limited to almost no opportunities, and the English centre-back cleared well on almost every occasion.
Armand Traore – 6/10
Traore kept Walcott relatively quiet throughout and made a great run before he was taken down to earn Forest their second penalty of the evening.
David Vaughan – 7/10
Vaughan was confident on the ball against an Arsenal side who like to press and keep possession. Additionally, he got Brereton in behind numerous times, which was worrying the Arsenal defence. Being the veteran of this Forest side, he played a crucial part in their victory.
Ben Osborn – 6/10
Osborn was solid in the midfield but didn’t see much of the ball as Arsenal kept most of the possession. When he did get the ball he kept it well and remained composed, but he did not do a lot influentially.
Matthew Cash – 8/10
Cash was quick and decisive on the ball, running at Arsenal defenders and getting it in behind to Brereton as much as possible. To top off his performance, it was him who won Forest a penalty to make it 3-1.
Kieran Dowell – 8/10
Dowell may not have had the biggest influence in open play, but his delivery set up Lichaj’s first, and he was the one to convert Forest’s fourth goal from the penalty spot, although it may have hit him twice before going in.
Zach Clough – 6/10
Clough was good in patches, driving at Debuchy and Arsenal’s centre-back pairing, but he was taken off before early in the second half.
Ben Brereton – 9/10
Unfortunately for him he only got one goal from the penalty spot as Dowell took the second spot kick, but his performance was superb. He held the ball up well, won fouls, run at Mertesacker and in behind him and forced Ospina into a number of saves. At 18 years old, it was a wonderful performance.
Tyler Walker – 6/10
Walker continued to do Clough’s good work and tracked back well to help out Traore at fullback.
Barrie Mckay – N/A
With just three minutes left in normal time, Mckay spent the last few minutes sat deep in Forest’s half
Matt Mills – N/A
Introduced in stoppage time to waste some time and to sure up the defence after Worrall’s sending off, there was no time for him to do anything.