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Eric Lichaj bags brace as Nottingham Forest ousts Arsenal from FA Cup

Eric Lichaj has been an important part to the Nottingham Forest backline the last few seasons, hoping for a chance to shine with the United States Men’s National Team.

On Sunday, the 29-year-old sparked his side to a huge 4-2 upset of defending holders Arsenal in the third round of the English F.A. Cup.

The wingback propelled Forest scoring a pair of first-half goals in the home triumph.

His first goal came 20 minutes in from a close-range header. Lichaj rose the highest and got on the end of Kieran Dowell’s cross following a set piece.

After Arsenal had drew level minutes later through Per Mertesacker, Lichaj broke the deadlock for good before halftime.

A looping right-footed volley from just outside of the box found the top-left corner, giving Forest a 2-1 lead after 44 minutes.

Another pair of goals in the second-half from his teammates saw Lichaj and Forest advance to the fourth round of the historic cup competition.

Sunday marked the first game of his professional career in which Lichaj scored a brace. He will now wait and see if he is chosen by the USMNT for their international friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Jan. 28th.


  1. Just a reminder, Lichaj was with Aston Villa for a couple of years while they were in the Premier League and one year had a run of about 10 games where he started due to injury. He did not do real well and went back to the bench when the injured player returned. Then when Aston Villa got relegated, no other EPL team wanted to pick him up. He is a pretty good Championship level player and has done well for Nottingham Forest, which barely avoided relegation last year. He had a great game today, for which he should be celebrated, but people shouldn’t be carried away by that.

    • Good for him, it was Arsenal, but it also was a very reserve side. The only player who might be considered a regular was Welbeck and he mostly has come off the bench this season. Everyone else was either really young or a few years past their prime. I mean come on the first one he was completely unmarked five yards from goal on a set piece. Most of the regulars didn’t even dress, with the packed schedule Arsenal certainly hoped to win but didn’t worry about it too much. Would have been a game for Zelalem if he would have been fit.

      • “The only player who might be considered a regular was Welbeck “…. that’s false because Holding and Maitland-Niles are regulars (played against Chelsea)
        “Everyone else was either really young or a few years past their prime.”…….Absolutely not true as there were six first team substitutes on the team against Chelsea and 2 of them played
        “Most of the regulars didn’t even dress, with the packed schedule”… it was a good senior Arsensal team…..and no Zelalem cant make this team hahahahaha
        First team
        -Rob Holding
        -Ainsley Maitland-Niles

        First team substitutes
        – David Ospina
        -Per Mertesacker
        -Danny Welbeck
        -Theo Walcott – first team
        -Alex Iwobi
        -Mohamed Elneny

      • Bizz,
        I had a big long reply for you but its not showing up.

        None of their first 11 in minutes or starts dressed. Nor did their preferred attacking sub Giroud. They have some injuries so some of the guys who played have been getting more minutes lately. The guys on the field make up 10% of their EPL assists and 5% of their goals. Nine of the 18 haven’t played a minute of EPL games this season and seven haven’t even dressed and most of those guys played with Zelalem with the U23s and in the Summer friendlies. That’s why I said Gedion probably would have made the squad if he was healthy and with the Gunners.

      • Johnnyrazor
        I get what you are saying but acting like the Arsenal team that played against Nottingham Forest is a watered down C team that Zelalem could have played on is false. Most of the players on the team against Lichaj were on the 18 man roster against league leaders Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Newcastle, West Ham etc and Zelalem cannot make the 18 man roster for Arsenal right now

  2. Lichaj may not be a world beater, but he has always been a decent/quality player who could be deployed at either a RB or a LB. This is why I was always sooo troubled by his exclusion for the USMNT during the last cycle. That said, with his current age, and the emergence of younger options he’s not likely to be a longer term option for the USMNT, but he & D. Williams should be part of the transition process.

  3. Just last summer people were crying that he stunk and should never see the field ahead of Zusi of all players, because he has one bad half of football! I always made the point that Lichaj was coming off of holiday before the GC, thus the rust at the outset of the GC, while I have also made the point that one bad half or game does not make a player bad(see Ream, Brooks, Cameron, etc). This boy has been in the UK for most of his career and has proven himself time and time again, even to clueless fans! I don’t think we’ve had an American ever score against Arsenal, no less a defender, but this only reinforces his ability and scoring touch just like in the GC when he made that slaloming run after a one two pass scoring a beautiful goal!

    • am I saying his the best RUBin the pool, no, that distinction still goes to Yedlin, but three is something to be said for his longevity in Europe and I do think he right under Yedlin and 2nd best RB in the pool

    • I’m glad that I’m not the only one who remembers the large number of folks that wanted Zusi on the MNT roster instead of Lichaj. He’s had a very good career at Forest and shown well when given a chance with the MNT. By the way the belly slide was JK’s favorite when he was diving at Tottenham. I think he was saying hello a–hole!

    • I think you’re oversimplifying a little bit. I don’t know that anyone really wanted Zusi, but at that point in the season with Zusi in form and Lichaj very shaky in the two GC matches having been in his offseason, there was a lesser of two evils effect that was going on. I don’t recall anyone being overly excited about Zusi, Lichaj, Morrow, or Villafana.

      As far as WC qualifying goes, I can’t really think of a match where Zusi really cost us points, maybe at Honduras, but with Arena’s play for a draw strategy, whomever, was back there would have had a rough day. This should also quiet those who are always calling for European players to be called even if it affects their club situation because after the GC Lichaj was benched leaving him out of form for the CR and Honduras qualifiers in September.

      Bottom line is, the roster we had was more than good enough to qualify, we needed four points from home with Panama and away at Trinidad and Arena couldn’t put the pieces in the right places to do it. Yes, Klinsy put him at a disadvantage, but Arena’s inability to deem Mexico and CR losing as a possibility had him field an exhausted line up who was unprepared for Trinidad’s style and with no concept of substitutions to make to counter what was happening on the field. Zusi deserves some blame for the lack of qualification, but he certainly isn’t in the top 10 of people deserving blame. Trinidad clearly watched film of the US/Panama match and exploited what they learned, Arena seemingly ignored John Harkes assessment of Trinidad and only paid attention to the final score the of the US match, not the glaring troubles that were visible before Wood earned the penalty.

    • FYI, Geoff Cameron scored on a mazey run against Arsenal, maybe his second season with Stoke. It was in a Premier League game, not a Cup game. Difference is that Cameron scored against Arsenal’s first team while today Arsenal was playing mostly 2nd and 3rd teamers. Not to take anything away from Lichaj, especially his second, which was a wonder goal, but you need to keep things in perspective. In 2010, Jonathan Spector playing in a Cup game for West Ham, was playing midfield, which was unusual for him, and scored a brace against Manu U when they were the top dog in the league. Neither of his goals was spectacular, but every so often a player has one of those days when everything falls just right. I have been lucky enough to happen to be watching all 3 of these performances, which are unlikely to be duplicated by any of these US players.

  4. he needs to take some time in practice or at home and work on his goal celebrations cuz that was terrible and so was the one he had playing for the usmnt last year


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