Arsene Wenger admitted he was hurting after Arsenal surrendered their grip on the FA Cup with defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Wenger hurt by exit

Wenger hurt by exit

The Frenchman lost a third-round tie for the first time as his much-changed side lost in an action-packed clash at the City Ground.

Wenger has become the competition's most successful manager, winning it seven times since taking charge of Arsenal in 1996, but the country's longest-serving boss was undone by Forest caretaker manager Gary Brazil on Sunday.

Eric Lichaj scored twice either side of Per Mertesacker's equaliser before penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell sandwiched Danny Welbeck's goal in a 4-2 win for the Championship side.

Forest finished the match with 10 men as Joe Worrall was shown a straight red card in the final minute for a late challenge on Chuba Akpom, but that did not dampen the home celebrations at the final whistle.

Dejected but magnanimous in defeat, Wenger said: "It hurts very much because we have won the FA Cup three times in the past four years.

"On the other hand it is a very difficult competition to win. But it hurts to go out in the third round - for the first time. But we knew it would be very tricky, it is a difficult place to come.

"I congratulate Nottingham Forest on an outstanding performance. They won decisive challenges and were always dangerous going forward and overall I think they deserved to win."