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firing blanks Mikel Arteta accuses his Arsenal players after a shock FA Cup exit at Nottingham Forest

Lewis Grabban’s late winner gave the hosts a deserved 1-0 third-round win against the slapdash Gunners.

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Lewis Grabban of Nottingham Forest scores their side's first goal past Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the FA Cup Third Round match. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Lewis Grabban of Nottingham Forest scores their side's first goal past Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the FA Cup Third Round match. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Lewis Grabban of Nottingham Forest scores their side's first goal past Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the FA Cup Third Round match. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta questioned the desire of his player after they crashed out of the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest.

Lewis Grabban’s late winner gave the hosts a deserved 1-0 third-round win against the slapdash Gunners.

The 14-time winners suffered an early exit without managing a shot on target at the City Ground on Sunday.

It was their first third-round defeat since losing 4-2 to Forest in 2018 and Arteta insisted he expected better.

“We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action, much more. We were not at our level,” he said.

“I’m really disappointed with the performance, first of all. Not with the attitude but how much purpose we have and what determination we showed to change the game when it’s difficult to play against and the way they play.

“I have played in games like that for the last 18 years and I know how complicated it is to come here and it’s no surprise the difficulties you are going to face. But when we do that, we have to face it in a different way.

“It is really hurting. It is a competition that is very related to our history and to get out of it is a big bump.

“We were not good enough and we have to apologise for it," added Arteta .

Aside from a five-minute spell in the second half it was an instantly forgettable game until Grabban struck with seven minutes left.

The first half’s only moment of note was Nuno Tavares being hauled off for Kieran Tierney after 34 sloppy minutes and tossing his gloves away.

Philip Zinckernagel forced Bernd Leno into an early second-half save and the goalkeeper was equal to James Garner’s 30-yard free-kick.

In between, Eddie Nketiah wasted Arsenal’s best – and only – chance when he completely miscued a free header at the far post.

It was to prove costly as Grabban climbed off the bench to score his 11th goal of the season.

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Albert Lokonga lost the ball in midfield and Ryan Yates scampered down the right to deliver a perfect cross for a stretching Grabban to convert from six yards.


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