Nottingham Forest stun FA Cup holders Leicester in derby day beating

Nottingham Forest went on a rampage to eliminate holders Leicester from the FA Cup.

The Reds demolished last season’s winners 4-1 at the City Ground after three goals in nine minutes in the first half.

Philip Zinckernagel and Brennan Johnson scored twice in just a minute before Joe Worrall made it 3-0.

Kelechi Iheanacho pounced on Brice Samba’s error but Djed Spence added a fourth in the second half to wrap up a dominating victory.

Under Steve Cooper Forest have lost just four of 23 games, winning 13, but against their East Midlands rivals it will be the most satisfying.

A swashbuckling, intense and stylish display continued their upward trajectory with the former Swansea boss, who took them from relegation contenders to promotion hopefuls in just five months.

They can now add FA Cup specialists to that list having already gutted Arsenal. A fifth-round home draw with Huddersfield will have the hosts dreaming of a first quarter-final since 1996.

The City Ground is now a place of hope, rather than leaning on its history, as Leicester’s season continues to unfold.

In the space of 11 games, the Foxes exited the Europa League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and saw the gap to the top six go from two points to 10.

Success in the Europa Conference League looks to be their best hope for European football next season, but Brendan Rodgers has growing problems.

In particular in defense, which folded again after Leicester seemed to have settled at the City Ground.

Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman threatened early but it was a false dawn as Forest swept them away in a devastating nine-minute spell.

Keinan Davis had already volleyed over the bar before Forest grabbed two goals in just 87 seconds.

It was Johnson who was crucial in underlining his importance to the hosts, who resisted interest from Brentford in January.

First, after 23 minutes, his deep cross found Davis to nod for the unmarked Zinckernagel to weave between Daniel Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi and past Danny Ward.

Leicester then crumbled seconds later when, on the restart, Amartey’s terrible back pass found Johnson and he stroked Ward’s legs to make it 2-0.

The starters had been wiped out and worse was to follow when they fell behind after 32 minutes.

Ryan Yates had already missed a great header before Ward turned away Zinckernagel’s shot and Worrall’s diving header slipped into the resulting corner from Garner.

But as the hosts celebrated, a fan entered the pitch from the away section before starting to punch the Forest players before being carried away.

Forest swarmed Leicester and Spence was denied by Ward, but the hosts gave the Foxes a lifeline they deserved just five minutes before the break.

James Maddison’s pretty pass found Iheanacho down the left with Samba inexplicably rushing out of goal. The striker pushed the ball between the keeper’s legs and finished well at an angle to give the visitors hope.

He finished a thrilling half and the next goal was crucial. Patson Daka replaced Barnes at the break and he pushed Maddison to loop just wide eight minutes after the restart before firing a shot himself.

There was to be no heroic comeback, however, and Spence added a fourth just after the hour when he traded passes with Zinckernagel to find the bottom corner.

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