Nottingham Forest eliminated the 14-time FA Cup winner Arsenal on Sunday after Tottenham and Liverpool survived scares against opposition from the lower leagues to progress. West Ham beat Leeds 2-0 in the day’s only third-round match with two Premier League teams, while Wolves beat Sheffield United 3-0. But Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal huffed and puffed at Forest in City’s field on the afternoon kickoff and ultimately paid a heavy price for their sub-par performance, losing 1-0.
The decisive moment came in the 83rd minute, when Lewis Grabban converted a magnificent cross from Ryan Yates to set up a draw against defending champions Leicester in the next round.
“I do not want to use excuses, I hope that the team that serves does better and when you are not in the cup you are out,” said a dejected Arteta, who now only has to focus on the Premier League.
“Today we showed that we were not capable of winning against Forest away from home and we did not put the level to win the game,” he told ITV. “It is a collective issue and today we have not done it.”
But the jubilant Forest boss Steve Cooper said his team deserved his famous victory.
“I’m very proud of the guys, satisfied with the performance,” he said. “It’s brilliant to pass and I hope now the players really believe in what we’re doing.”
Earlier, much-changed Spurs were trailing at halftime to League One opponents Morecambe, but Harry Winks tied and substitutes Lucas Moura and Harry Kane scored late to seal a 3-1 victory.
Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson was absent from the game against the club in which he began his playing career after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Spurs, 59 places above their third-tier opponents on the English football ladder, fell behind in the 33rd minute when Morecambe captain Anthony O’Connor converted from close range after a corner kick.
It was difficult for the locals to prevail and Tottenham coach Antonio Conte called Moura and Kane from the bench with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Spurs still needed a bit of luck to level the score: Winks’ free throw was missed, but he flew over Morecambe goalkeeper Trevor Carson and into the far corner.
Moura put the Spurs ahead in the 85th minute after circling the goalkeeper after a charge from midfield and Kane made sure the Spurs advanced.
“We deserve to win because in these kinds of games you have to show your strength,” Conte told the BBC.
They defended with 11 players and that is normal in these games, but it is important to find the right solution. ”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, back on the Anfield bench after completing his period of isolation following a positive Covid-19 test, saw his team lag behind before recovering strongly to win 4-1 .
Liverpool named five youth squad players to their squad to face League One Shrewsbury after a Covid-hit preparation for the match, with more academy players on the bench.
The Merseyside club, whose training ground was closed for 48 hours during the week due to a virus outbreak, will be without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, all of whom are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Shrewsbury struck with his first real attack of any threat, when Daniel Udoh fired point-blank after a cross from Nathanael Ogbeta.
But the home team drew just seven minutes later when 17-year-96-day Kaide Gordon became the second-youngest scorer in club history.
Fabinho put Klopp’s men ahead from the penalty spot shortly before half-time and there were more goals from substitute Roberto Firmino and a second from Fabinho.
Goals from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen were enough for West Ham to beat Leeds 2-0 at London Stadium, while Daniel Podence scored two goals in Wolves’ 3-0 win against Sheffield United.
Third-division Cambridge, who stunned Premier League Newcastle on Saturday, will play Luton in the fourth round, while non-league Kidderminster host West Ham.
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Manchester United host Aston Villa in the last of the third round qualifiers on Monday.