Arsenal have been knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup for only the second time in the last 26 seasons – and Championship side Nottingham Forest were once again their conquerors.
As a surprise-laden weekend continued in the world’s oldest domestic cup competition on Sunday, Tottenham and Liverpool were both relieved to have both fought back from a goal down at home to third-tier opponents.
Mikel Arteta’s Premier League stars failed to even muster a shot on target at the City Ground, their 1-0 loss reprising their third-round exit to Forest in 2017-18.
The Gunners’ hopes of winning a record-extending 15th FA Cup were sunk at the first hurdle when substitute Lewis Grabban stretched out his leg to convert Ryan Yates’s cross in the 83rd minute – and it was no more than Forest deserved against inept visitors.
Forest have now earned themselves a Midlands derby against holders Leicester City in Round 4.
Following Newcastle’s humbling at home to another third-tier side Cambridge on Saturday, Spurs also found themselves facing humiliation on Sunday as Morecambe led them 1-0 after 73 minutes.
But Tottenham got lucky – or was it inspired precision? – when their midfielder Harry Winks sent in a free kick from near the corner flag on the left wing and the ball flew over everyone into the top corner.
“This one I meant,” Winks said, laughing.
Substitutes Lucas Moura and Harry Kane then added further goals in the final five minutes as Spurs won 3-1 to deny Morecambe a place in the fourth round for the first time in the League Two club’s 101-year history.
Liverpool won 4-1 at home to Shrewsbury but only after the visitors had gone ahead after 27 minutes.
The Reds equalised seven minutes later through Kaide Gordon, one of four teenagers handed a start in a youthful Liverpool line-up.
He became the second-youngest scorer in the club’s history – at 17 years and 96 days – and their youngest-ever Cup marksman with a coolly taken effort.
Then Fabinho scored either side of a cheeky backheel goal from fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino, who came on as a substitute.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was back in the dugout after spending time in isolation following a positive test for the coronavirus.
“This was the team we could line up today and the boys did really well,” he said of his makeshift team.
In an all-Premier League match-up, West Ham beat Leeds 2-0, with Manuel Lanzini’s crucial opening goal controversially awarded after a potential offside against Jarrod Bowen, who scored the second in stoppage time.
Leeds players complained about the first goal on the field, and so did the club chairman on his Twitter account.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 9, 2022
Wolverhampton Wanderers won 3-0 against Sheffield United to ensure another straightforward passage for a top-flight side with two goals from Daniel Podence and another from Nelson Semedo.
Norwich defeated Charlton 1-0 with a second-half goal from Milot Rashica, Stoke City beat Leyton Orient 2-0 and Luton thrashed fourth-tier Harrogate Town 4-0.