Nottingham Forest defender Eric Lichaj has gone viral on social media this evening, after netting an incredible volley to put his side 2-1 up versus Arsenal.
The two sides are currently locked in action at the City ground, with visitors Arsenal coming into proceedings on the back of a 9-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
Forest, meanwhile, had not managed a win from any of their last 5 outings, with their last result a 0-0 stalemate with Leeds United this past Monday.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger opted for a heavily-weakened side, suggesting that his priorities do not lie with the FA Cup this season:
None of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Alexandre Lacazette or a number of other first-team regulars were even included in Arsenal’s squad:
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 7, 2018
Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, opted for the following, with former Arsenal full-back Armand Traore included from the start:
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) January 7, 2018
Despite their heavily altered starting lineup, the visitors were still viewed as clear favourites coming into today’s clash, with the experience of the likes of Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck expected to prove telling.
As such, it came as a surprise when it was the hosts who took the lead with 20 minutes on the clock, as right-back Eric Lichaj got on the end of a devilish whipped free-kick from Kieran Dowell to nod past the helpless David Ospina.
However, order was soon restored, with Per Mertesacker eventually providing the crucial touch following a goalmouth scramble in the Forest box.
The home side continued to look dangerous, though, and were rewarded for their endeavours on the stroke of half-time, when defender Lichaj sealed his brace in sensational fashion.
Standing just outside the Arsenal box, the American stopper calmly took the ball down on his chest with his first-touch, before unleashing a gorgeous dipping volley into the far-top corner of the visitors’ goal.
The fact that Lichaj is a full-back made the strike even more special, with some of the best social media reaction below:
LICHAJ WITH AN ABSOLUTE WORLDYYYYYYYYYYYY
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 7, 2018
— Nottingham Facts (@NottsFacts) January 7, 2018
GOAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! Eric Lichaj gets his second of the game with a sexy little bastard of a goal!! 2-1 Forest.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) January 7, 2018
Eric Lichaj is the greatest goalscoring right back since Josimar. When did that happen. Lichaj 2 Arsenal 1 pic.twitter.com/W0Eh5HcRTU
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) January 7, 2018
What a goal from Lichaj. His second.
— Janusz Michallik (@JanuszMichallik) January 7, 2018
I need to swear…. GOOOOAAAAAALLLLL and it is Lichaj again, this time with a dipping volley with the outside of his right boot. What. A, Strike. #nffc lead 2-1
— Paul Taylor (@nottmtails) January 7, 2018
Amazing goal by Lichaj 😲
— Urban Arsenal (@ArsenalUrban) January 7, 2018
Typical isn’t it that Eric Lichaj turns into Dani Alves vs Arsenal
— Memz Ⓜ️ (@Memz_UK) January 7, 2018
Eric Lichaj is trrending worldwide. I think I’ve just entered a parallel universe. #nffc
— Hannah Forest 🔴⚪️⚽️ (@hannahforest) January 7, 2018
Lichaj with the goal of his life #NFFC
— MarkP (@choneslater) January 7, 2018
What. A. Goal.
— BigSport (@BigSportGB) January 7, 2018