Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager has apologised for his side’s display after they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by Nottingham Forest for the second time in four years.
Lewis Grabban slid home Ryan Yates’ inviting cross seven minutes from time to shock the 14-time winners.
The Gunners appeared to have turned a corner of late but were lacklustre against their Championship opponents.
“We were not good enough and we have to apologise for it,” Arteta said.
“We needed more drive, more hunger to win at any cost in every single action, much more. We were not at our level.
“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 the way they play.
“I have played in games like that for the past 18 years and I know how complicated it is to come here. 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.”
Arteta made numerous changes but England winger Bukayo Saka, Norway playmaker Martin Odegaard and in-form Gabriel Martinelli all played at the City Ground.
Forest, resurgent under manager Steve Cooper, can now look forward to an East Midlands derby and another meeting with a Premier League side, holders Leicester City, in the fourth round.
The Championship side, who beat the Gunners 4-2 at the same stage in 2018 and have not lost a home tie in six years, were physical from the start.
Cooper was delighted with his side’s battling display, the latest in a series of impressive performances since he took charge in September.
“I think we deserved to win,” he said. “We came up against a really good team. We had a clear game plan. We wanted to be brave with our pressing and get at them on the counter and that’s how we scored.
“I’m really proud of the boys, pleased with the performance. It’s brilliant to get through and I hope the players now really believe in what we’re doing.”
The record FA Cup winners have lost only twice in the third round since 1996 – and both times were at the hands of Forest.