Nottingham Forest exited the Carabao Cup at the third-round stage as they fell to defeat against Arsenal this evening.
The Premier League side had too much firepower for The Reds as they ran out 5-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium.
Sabri Lamouchi made six changes to the side from the weekend as Aro Muric returned in goal with a full debut for Chema Rodriguez in defence.
The home side started strongly and had the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges with Reiss Nelson flashing a free kick narrowly wide of Muric’s left-hand post inside the opening 10 minutes.
Forest were defending well and looking to hit their opponents on the counter attack, with Yuri Ribeiro and Matty Cash driving forward from wide areas. Joe Lolley whipped a dangerous delivery into the Arsenal area on 26 but a Forest man couldn’t get on the end of it and just after the half-hour mark the hosts went in front.
Calum Chambers volleyed a cross into the area first time for Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli who stooped to head the ball high into the top corner, giving Muric no chance.
The goal didn’t seem to dishearten The Reds as they continued to keep their Premier League opponents at arm’s length, until the stroke of half time when Emile Smith Rowe met a cross into the area and headed goalwards, but this time Muric was equal to it to make a fine save to his right.
The second half started with Forest more on the front foot and looking to find that levelling goal but they struggled to create any clear-cut openings despite having several breakaways.
With Forest pushing forward, it created more space for Arsenal to exploit and they should have doubled their lead on 67 minutes as Joe Willock headed wide of the target from inside the six-yard box.
They did double it, however, just four minutes later as from a corner kick Rob Holding rose unmarked in the middle to head past Muric and create some breathing space. On 78 minutes it was three for the hosts as substitute Hector Bellerin squared the ball across the face of goal for Willock to simply tap home from close range.
There was a bright spot for The Reds as Sabri Lamouchi introduced Alex Mighten and Jordan Gabriel from the bench as they made their senior debuts for the club.
But there was further punishment late on as Reiss Nelson added a fourth by converting Chambers’ low cross into the area and in injury time, Martinelli added his second as he sent a shot into the top corner via a deflection.
A tough scoreline to take but Forest’s focus is firmly on the league as they travel to Stoke City on Friday looking to continue their strong form in the Championship.
Forest: Muric, Cash, Figueiredo, Chema, Robinson (c), Ribeiro (Mighten 79’), Silva, Johnson, Lolley (Gabriel 81’), Carvalho (Ameobi 59’), Adomah
Unused subs: Smith, Milosevic, Grabban, Sow
Booking: Robinson 90’
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney (Bellerin 76’), Torreira, Willock, Nelson, Ozil (c) (Ceballos 71’), Smith Rowe (Saka 45’), Martinelli
Unused subs: Macey, Bola, Burton, Balogun
Goals: Martinelli 31’, 90', Holding 71’, Willock 78’, Nelson 84’
Booking: Nelson 56’
Referee: Darren England
Attendance: 53,160 (8,391 away)