Arsenal as defending FA Cup holders, and the team that had won the cup three times in four years and a record number of times overall by the time this game came around, were beaten on this day in the 3rd round by managerless Nottingham Forest.
It was the only defeat in the 3rd round of the Wenger era, in what turned out to be Arsene Wenger’s last FA Cup match. But he still remains the manager with more FA Cup wins than any other manager in the entire history of the FA Cup and Arsenal the team that has won the FA Cup more than any other side.
The team for the game was
Debuchy (Akpom) Holding Mertesacker
Elneny Nelson Willock (Nketiah)
It was also a game to be remembered as one of the most extraordinary in terms of refereeing ever seen in the FA Cup with a total of seven cards being waved by the ref who had utterly lost control, in a space of five minutes!
On 84 minutes Joe Worrall of Forest and Mat Debuchy were shown yellow cards. One minute later David Ospina got a card. One minute after that both Danny Welbeck and Per Mertescaker got a card each. On 89 minutes Joe Worrall received his second yellow, meaning the ref also had to bring out the red to send him off.
This was the first time that Arsenal had conceded four or more goals against a team from a lower division in a FA Cup tie since 16 January 1908 at Hull City in a first round replay.
Fate can play cruel tricks on football managers such as this, but of course it is not the defeat that Arsène Wenger is remembered for, but for being the seven times FA Cup winner in the space of 19 years from 1998 to 2017.
The man he overtook to gain this record was George Ramsey who had won the cup six times with Aston Villa between 1887 and 1920 – a total of 33 years, (although we should perhaps say 29 years, given that there was no FA Cup played from 1915 to 1919.)
Third in line is Six Alex Ferguson who took 14 years to win the cup five times. On four wins is John Nicholson with Sheffield United across a 26 year spell from the end of the 19th century through to 1925.
Three managers won the cup three times: James Fielding of Blackburn is the only man to have won the cup three years running (1884-6), Charles Foweraker of Bolton in the 1920s, and Bill Nicholson of Tottenham in the 1960s.
Mr Wenger’s run ensured that Arsenal would be top of the list of FA Cup winners, with 13 wins out of 20 appearances in the final. Since then we have of course won it one more to make 14 out of 21. Manchester United are second with 12 wins and 20 appearances in the final.
And just because it is fun to look back in time you might like to know that Arsenal’s first ever FA Cup match was on 5 October 1889 which resulted in an 11-0 victory over Lyndhurst. That campaign saw Arsenal successfully get through the qualifying rounds of the Cup and took them into the competition proper, where on 17 January 1891 Arsenal lost 1-2 at home to league side Derby.
Indeed it was not until 1901 that Arsenal actually managed to get past the 1st round losing in the 2nd round to WBA.
The big breakthrough came in 1906 with a trip to the semi-final, repeated the following year, but the first final had to wait for Chapman’s arrival (the defeat in 1927), with the first cup win coming in 1930 where Chapman beat his old club Huddersfield Town, to win Arsenal their first major trophy (the first of seven League and Cup wins through that decade).
For details of the videos sorted by club, and videos in the order we published them, plus our 21 golden great videos please see here.
Just as the videos have been put in date order so we are now doing a day-by-day series of Arsenal events, looking to find one good story a day throughout the year. This project started on 1 December, and we are adding to it each day. The index is here.
100 Years in the First Division: the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.
Henry Norris at the Arsenal: There is a full index to the series here.
Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever
Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.