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Cup Upsets Involving Arsenal (Part Four)

Concluding the series whihc looks at some of the times that Arsenal have been on the wrong end of a cup upset.

For Part One please click here; Part Two here; and Part Three here.

Bradford City, League Cup 2012

In the 2012 – 2013 season, Bradford City of League Two, made a highly improbable run through to the final of the League Cup, although they were eventually thrashed 5 – 0 by Swansea City at Wembley.

However, few of their fans will forget the night they knocked out Arsène Wenger’s side in the course of that win at Valley Parade.

Infront of nearly 24,000 fans packed into the West Yorkshire ground, Bradford took an early lead when Garry Thompson fired into the roof of the net on 15minutes.

Arsenal poured forward in search of an equaliser, only to find goalkeeper Mat Dukes in inspired form, producing a series of fine saves to keep the Gunners at bay. However, with just two minutes of normal time, captain Thomas Vermaelen scored to equalise for the Premier League side.

Extra time ensued and, although Santi Cazorla struck the crossbar, there were no more goals and it went to penalties.

Three Arsenal players missed from the spot, and Bradford went through, sending the crowd into raptures.

Nottingham Forest, FA Cup 2018

Under Wenger Arsenal had an admirable record in the FA Cup, winning the competition seven times, and finishing runner-up once. But his last year in charge saw his team lose at the third round stage for the only time under the Frenchman.

Wenger was confined to the stands because he was serving a touchline ban and decided to make nine changes for the visit to Nottingham Forest of the Championship.

Forest took an early lead through Eric Lichaj, before Per Mertesacker equalised for the Gunners. Lichaj scored his second before half-time with a  well-struck volley and then Ben Brereton made it 3 – 1 from the penalty spot.

Danny Welbeck pulled a goal back, but any hopes of a comeback were ended when Kieran Dowell scored with another penalty.

Arsenal had gone into the match defending champions but were well-beaten on the night. With the tide beginning to turn against Wenger, there were recriminations against his decision to field such a weakened side.

He would end his 22-year spell in charge at the end of the season.

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