Nottingham Forest 4-1 Leicester: FA Cup holders knocked out in thrilling fourth-round tie

Joe Worrall
Captain Joe Worrall, who scored Nottingham Forest’s third goal, was playing for the first time after missing three matches with a broken rib last month

FA Cup holders Leicester City suffered a shock fourth-round loss to east Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest in a pulsating game at the City Ground.

Forest, eighth in the Championship, took the lead with a well-worked goal that saw Keinan Davis head down Brennan Johnson’s cross and Philip Zinckernagel poking the ball past Danny Ward.

Within 30 seconds, the hosts had doubled their advantage, Johnson finishing after a terrible backpass from James Justin. It became 3-0 when returning captain Joe Worrall powered in a header at the back post from James Garner’s corner.

Premier League Leicester were handed a lifeline when home goalkeeper Brice Samba made an error and that enabled Kelechi Iheanacho to roll the ball into an unguarded net, but they were not able to fight back.

Forest restored their three-goal advantage when Djed Spence raced through and slid the ball past Ward to set up a fifth-round home tie against fellow Championship side Huddersfield Town.

Most of the match was played in front of a superb atmosphere at a packed City Ground, although there was an unsavoury incident after Forest’s second goal. A fan ran on to the pitch and confronted a number of players before being tackled by security and led away.

Leicester’s FA Cup defence falls apart

It was only in May when Youri Tielemans scored a stunning 25-yard goal as Leicester beat Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley as the Foxes won the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

But Brendan Rodgers’ side tamely fell at this hurdle as Leicester followed Arsenal out of the competition after the Gunners had lost 1-0 at Forest in the third round.

However, in front of a crowd of 28,762, Forest were superb. Into the fifth round for only the second time in 17 years, they were not flattered by the winning margin against a side 10th in the top flight.

It could have been a different game had Iheanacho scored inside the opening five minutes, but instead fired wide. Forest, backed by vocal support from their fans, then took control inside a crazy five-minute spell midway through the half.

This was the first meeting between the two sides in almost eight years, but it was hard to tell which one played in the higher division.

Davis showed superb technique to volley against the Leicester bar before Zinckernagel’s opener, with the visitors gifting Forest a second goal only moments later.

Worrall, back after a three-game absence with broken ribs last month, scored Forest’s third in the 32nd minute – capping a stunning nine-minute spell that took the game beyond Leicester.

Samba’s error, when he charged out of his box to challenge Iheanacho, gifted Leicester a 40th-minute goal and the Foxes started the second half brightly with James Maddison and substitute Patson Daka missing chances.

But the excellent Spence killed the game off in the 61st minute, sprinting through and firing home Forest’s fourth.

It followed more abject defending that Rodgers will be unhappy about as his side’s cup defence ended in disappointment.


Nottm Forest

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 30Samba
  • 4Worrall
  • 27S Cook
  • 26McKenna
  • 2Spence
  • 22Yates
  • 37GarnerBooked at 65minsSubstituted forRibeiro Diasat 88′minutes
  • 15Lowe
  • 11ZinckernagelSubstituted forColbackat 63′minutes
  • 20JohnsonSubstituted forCosta Silvaat 88′minutes
  • 9DavisSubstituted forSurridgeat 71′minutes


  • 1Horvath
  • 3Figueiredo
  • 8Colback
  • 14Laryea
  • 16Surridge
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 19Costa Silva
  • 21Ojeda
  • 23Lolley


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Ward
  • 2Justin
  • 18Amartey
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 33Thomas
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forDewsbury-Hallat 65′minutes
  • 25NdidiBooked at 59mins
  • 37LookmanSubstituted forRicardo Pereiraat 65′minutes
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 74mins
  • 7BarnesSubstituted forDakaat 45′minutes
  • 14Iheanacho


  • 1Schmeichel
  • 11Albrighton
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 23Vestergaard
  • 29Daka
  • 42Soumaré

Paul Tierney


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