Forest went in 2-1 up at the break courtesy of Lichaj’s two goals and their lead could have been even greater.
Early on Ben Brereton, a big, bustling 18-year-old striker served notice that he planned to be a thorn in Arsenal’s side with a low angled shot which forced David Ospina to save.
Forest were showing all the signs of taking the initiative and in the 20th minute they were rewarded for their efforts when Lichaj stunned them with a bullet header.
The home side won a free-kick on the edge of the area on the right after a neat little short corner routine caught Arsenal on the hop.
Kieran Dowell fired the free-kick in with his left foot and as it rifled towards goal there was Lichaj virtually on the line and completely unmarked to send an unstoppable header ripping into the roof of the net.
Arsenal clearly saw it as only a temporary setback and hit back in the best way possible with an equaliser within three minutes.