Sunday night saw another FA Cup Third Round giant-killing as Arsenal were put to the sword at the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest were full value for the win against Mikel Arteta’s side, after the visitors put in one of their most pathetic performances of the season.
Considering that the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli et al were all in the starting line-up, it’s a fair bet that the Spaniard would’ve expected much, much more from his highly-rated youngsters.
As it was, they were bullied in almost every facet of the game, the soft core that has often blighted their performance coming to the fore again.
Not since they were knocked out at the same stadium under Arsene Wenger have the Gunners gone out of the FA Cup – a competition that they hold the record number of titles for – this early.
No one watching the game can say that it wasn’t deserved either, and one particular stat highlighted just how poor the visitors were.
According to Squawka, Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target throughout the game.
Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target against Nottingham Forest.
It’s just the second time this season they’ve failed to hit the target (also vs Man City in August). #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/Mw0gU5J5rK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2022
It’s the second time this season that they’ve not managed to hit the target, though the other occasion – against Premier League leaders Man City – could be overlooked given the standard of the opposition.
The two legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool are to come within the next fortnight, and that competition now represents the best chance of silverware for the club.
It’s back to the drawing board for the North Londoners. Two steps forward and one back.