Sunday evening saw a wonderful advert for English football as Nottingham Forest took on record FA Cup winners, Arsenal.
With the Gunners not at their best, the Championship side took the game to their more illustrious hosts, and it made for a feast of football at a ground sold out and full of expectant Forest supporters.
Not since Forest had last beaten Arsenal in the world’s oldest cup competition in the Third Round had they gone out at such an early stage, but that’s exactly what happened after Lewis Grabban gave the hosts a lead with eight minutes left to play.
Mikel Arteta had shown his ruthless side during the first half of the match, replacing Nuno Tavares with Kieran Tierney by the half hour.
The tactical change didn’t appear to make much of a difference as Forest’s battling qualities were more than a match for the pleasing passing carousels that Arsenal brought to the party.
Still in the game into the final 10 minutes, the hosts surged forward in the hope of gaining the advantage.
A superb cross in from the right hand side from Yates found Lewis Grabban, who took the chance early to send the City Ground into ecstasy.
It was the precursor to a mini pitch invasion and huge celebrations at the end of the match as the Gunners were sent back to London with their tails between their legs.
FA Cup football is very much alive and kicking.
Grabban grabs the opener! ?
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 9, 2022
NOTTINGHAM FOREST TAKE THE LEAD AGAINST ARSENAL AND THE FANS ARE ON THE PITCH!
ABSOLUTE SCENES ? pic.twitter.com/HTs8Jag8WG
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 9, 2022
Pictures from ITV Football and ESPN FC