Thursday, October 6, 2022

Match Report: Reading 5-7 Arsenal (blimey)

Arsenal staged one of the most amazing comebacks in their history to progress to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup at the expense of Reading.

Four goals down after 37 minutes, Arsene Wenger’s side looked dead and buried before goals from Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and an injury-time equaliser from Carl Jenkinson (or was it Walcott?) dragged the game to extra-time. Maraoune Chamakh (yes really) put us into the lead, Pavel Pogrebnyak equalised before Walcott and Chamakh scored twice after the 120 minute mark to seal a 7-5 win.

This is not a game which words can really do justice to. For want of a better one, it was mental.

Let’s start from the beginning…

As expected Arsene fielded a team featuring both youth and experience. 17-year-old Serge Gnabry was given a start in midfield alongside Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin, while up front Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and the forgotten Marouane Chamakh led the line. At the back Martinez had a second start in goal, while Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny were flanked by Carl Jenkinson and Ignasi Miquel in a relatively experienced defence.

Reading certainly started the better of the two sides and nearly opened the scoring in the third minute when Morrison’s header from a corner hit the post and rebounded clear off the head of keeper Martinez. The Argentine was forced into action five minutes later making a smart close range stop from Jay Tabb.

Despite some smart play by Arshavin, Arsenal weren’t really at the races in the first 15 minutes and it wasn’t much of a surprise that Jason Roberts gave the home side the lead. Jenkinson was caught way out of position, Coquelin missed a challenge, Djourou had no choice but to cover right and in doing so left the former Wigan man free to make the most of a decent cross. He duly crashed home a volley from five yards with a minimum of fuss.

The lead was doubled seven minutes later. Miquel was nutmegged in his left back position, a Reading runner made it to the touchline and his low cross was turned into his own net by Koscielny.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse it did. After more sloppy play in our own half Mikele Leigertwood was allowed to progress to the edge of the box where he despatched a half decent shot. It should have been dealt with, but rather than turn the ball around the post Martinez conceived to palm it into his own net.

3-0 down after 20 minutes and player heads both young and old were down. Off the pitch the away fans continued to sing their hearts out in support in a quite tremendous show of solidarity.

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to spur the players onto greater things. Another ball was lost in the middle of the park, swiftly worked to the right and this time Noel Hunt crashed home a decent header off the post. Six attempts by the Royals had yielded four goals and the away support, quite understandably, changed tact.

Just before half-time Chamakh, Gnabry, Frimpong and Jenkinson managed efforts at (if not on) goal, before Walcott, fed by Arshavin, gave the Gunners the tiniest glimmer of hope with a finely taken striker’s finish seconds before the referee’s whistle. The cynic in me couldn’t help thinking it was taken with all the ‘fuck it’ nonchalance of a man who knows he’ll be leaving the club sooner rather than later.

Within two minutes of the second half Reading could have added to their lead three times over. A header was saved, they were denied a definite penalty and Miquel almost put into his own net. It was unforgivably suicidal play by Arsenal epitomised by Koscielny’s consistently limp submission to Jason Roberts’ physicality.

A break led by Arshavin ended with Walcott hitting the post, Gnabry flashed a shot wide, Chamakh was booked appealing for a dead-cert penalty and then Walcott came close again as we started to show a bit of fighting spirit.

Thomas Eisfeld and Olivier Giroud entered the fray in place of Frimpong and Gnabry as Wenger threw further caution to the wind. The substitution paid immediate dividends as the Frenchman scored a fantastic header from a Walcott corner. 4-2 with 25 minutes to go. Surely we couldn’t do it?

Giroud really made a difference in the final third. Unlike Chamakh he competed for headers from the long ball and wasn’t scared to shoot from outside the box; one drive with 17 minutes left stung the palms of Federici before a header very nearly crept in at the Australian’s near post.

Eisfeld also looked very perky. The young German’s willingness to run with the ball kept pushing the home side onto the back post, while his passing was both direct and incisive.

In the final minute of normal time another corner produced a third goal. Laurent Koscielny, wiping his slate clean after the own goal, scoring with a fine header. Unbelievable stuff.

More decent work by Walcott nearly produced the most unexpected of equalisers in injury-time, before somehow in the fifth minute of injury-time (only four had been shown) Walcott squirmed another shot goalwards. It went over the line, was cleared, only for Jenkinson to smash home and save the linesman from his ridiculous dilly-dallying. 4 fucking 4. I’m not sure who’ll they’ll give the goal to, but who would begrudge the right back getting his first ever goal for his boyhood club in such dramatic circumstances?

The goal was the last kick of the game…well normal time anyway. Giroud and Coquelin, seemingly having lost count of the score, threw their shirts into the crowd in celebration. They were quickly reminded of the 30 minutes of extra-time that beckoned!

Momentum is a strange thing in football. Lose it and it’s very hard to get back. Reading had lost it and we could smell blood. We dominated the first ten minutes of extra-time before brilliant interplay by Giroud and Arshavin made space for Marouane Chamakh and of all people the Moroccan lashed home from outside the box. It was his first goal in 13 months!

Of course, Arsenal being Arsenal we couldn’t just see out the game. After Walcott missed a chance to extend the lead, Koscielny was called upon to make a desperate last ditch challenge to ensure we still had one. The Frenchman’s evening had all the plot twists of a John Grisham thriller and that’s not a necessarily a good thing.

Eventually, with five minutes left, Reading’s persistence paid off. A deflected shot saw fell to Russian sub Pavel Pogrebnyak who headed past Martinez from on the line to again draw the teams level.

You thought it might be penalties after that, but there was still time for one final twist. Koscielny won the ball, Arshavin raced up the other end of the pitch and Walcott smashed home with composure. It felt like a winner, but there was still time for a further gloss. As Reading desperately committed men forward Chamakh in extra time of extra-time was left free to perfectly lob home a seventh. He looked more surprised than anybody.

Eventually the referee found his whistle and gave it a blow. 7-5 to the Arsenal. Job done. Easy!

I don’t think we’ll ever see another game like it. I’m not sure I want to…

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Andre's recently hired chauffeur

I’m going mad,
took this sad game and made it better…

Someone got a finish to that?


Nope but I’ve got another

“He scores when he wants
He scores when he waaaaants
Marouane Chamakh…”


i think kocielny should be a striker. he scores for both sides. mr. own goal


The unsung hero was Thomas Eisfield. Once he came on the pitch, he really dictated the tempo in the midfield. I see a bright future for him. COYG

i feel like throwing in an insult toward the board right now, but I’ll let it be


seems like Jobi McAnuff didn’t have enuff for the win!

*gets coat*


You take back all the mean and hurtful things you say about me.


I take them back. Go out and have a shisha son! it is well deserved after tonight!

Master Bates

I heard wenger told them at halftime

‘this is Arsenal ,you cunts’


Now bring on the dutch skunk. It’s must be one hell of the game for the our away fan.

Steve of Chiang Mai

When we were pooh
took this sad game and made it better…
and Theo….. he surely got a third
Chamakh once thought a turd
has made us feel better…better…better…..better…better…AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!

Steve of Chiang Mai

When we were pooh
Took this sad game
and made it better
And Theo
…looked like he got a third
Chamakh we thought a turd
Has made it better…better…better…better…better….better….AAAAGGGHHH!!!

Allen Dickerson

Remember to head it under the bar,
Then we can start,
To take down Reading.

(‘ow’s that, mate?)

Andre's recently hired chauffeur

Reading reading reading reading readin reading aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!

Na na na nanananaaaa,


The german kid sure was reading the game well


Sorry for cutting in here but,did anyone mention that cunt hole of a ref.He is a slimy wanker.


Remember to let it onto your head…
And that’s how you play, a perfect header….


Nurse! NURSE!! Pass the screens….QUICKLY!


From 4-0 down to winning 7-5!!!!!.
Am I um, *reading those scores correctly?

Up the arse! like never before. Never say never!!!!!!!


Can the live blog be put up as a permanent link somewhere? I’ve never read one that made me smile so much 😀


Fuck fuck fuck fuck i missed the match.. god damn alarm clock. worthless piece of shit. fml
0-4 down to 7-5 , bloody hell !


I wanted to watch the match even at 4-0, but then where I live I really can’t afford to sleep at 5, and with extra time 6am wtf.

Brian Mendoza

I have no words. That was bananas. What a game.


” I don’t think we’ll ever see another game like it. I’m not sure I want to…” Fucking annoying this guy



Excuse my french, too damn excited!


after calming down ever so slightly, what a shift from Eisfeld. Young boy ran the comeback, what a player!!

Arshavin and Chamakh, the forgotten talents, worked extremely hard and played really well even though not everything was coming off. Kept at it and produced. Very happy with the 2nd half – Missed the first half thank god lol.


Did anyone who saw Jenkinson’s interview afterward catch when he almost said “mental strength.” I allowed myself a quiet chuckle.


You could tell he wanted to say it. Presumably Wenger has informed the team “Only I may say Mental Strength”.


haha that was classic, hope we get Theo to sign, looks like he’s a real part of the Arsenal machine and from what he’s produced this season, it’d be a damn shame if we lost him. hoping his ‘consistency in patches’ bit is a thing of the past as he really has stepped up, and well done to him!


If they give Walcott the hat trick, I believe that makes him our top goal scorer. But before you all get carried away, 5 of those goals have been in the League Cup. I would like him to stay, but scoring against these clowns doesn’t merit £85k a week in my book
What a game though – special kiosks to AA23 & Eisfiels, with honourable mentions to Chamakh & Giroud. One of the worst games that Kos has had for a while though. The Keeper? Don’t. And as for Frimpong? Dench my arse.


I always find on here that is easy to get kiosks muddled with KUDOS. Soz


Frimpong said ONLY TODAY that he wasn’t anywhere near 100%, having come back from the second serious injury he’s suffered in as many years – he doesn’t deserve any shit talk from the likes of you.


Will be happy Bearscum to be proved wrong in the future about Frimpong, but feel he’s not up to it. Injuries or otherwise. Don’t believe he’s half the player Ramsey is, but don’t expect that view to be advocated on here. I love the Arsenal, but doesn’t make me qualified to turn out for them.

Master Bates

‘Will be happy to be proved wrong’

I fooking hate that statement ,It’s usually said to justify a very negative thing on the team , like ‘Jenkinson is shit and will never be any good ,happy to be proven wrong’ or ‘we won’t finish in the top 4 and sp*rs are a better team,happy to be proven wrong’


The point that I am trying to make (albeit very badly it seems) is that Frimpong seems to get a lot of love on here because he has invented a word that nobody knows what it means, he hates Spurs & offered to take Na$ri out. I know he has had 2 bad knee injuries, so I need to cut him a bit more slack I know. For me, I feel it’s a bit unjust how people judge him & Aaron Ramsey, who had a much more harrowing injury, yet doesnt get any slack whatsoever. Ramsey never wil be as… Read more »


Have no idea what to say

Der Springer

I have no idea what to say about your comment. It says it all.

Dr Baptiste

What a game. That was a fantastic advert for football

Sol Goodman

What a terrible advert for defending, it was an amazing come back, but letting in 5 goals to a team who has yet to win a premier league match and is second from bottom of the league is woeful. Whatever was said to the players at half time can they start saying it to them before the match starts. On a brighter note it will probably be great for team spirit and Eisfeld looked pretty handy.

Chamakh for the golden boot!


Chamakh reborn!


Surely all thats left is actually winning the actual goddamn cup. We cant struggle like that only to be elimimated later. Fucking win it!


I have so far scrolled through the comments and thumbed up probably all but one, and that was cos the scrolling through was too exciting…







I’ve not screamed at TV like that, for a long time. Is it possible that arshavin is getting worse than chamakh? Good god man.
What a game though.


arshavin was unbelievable. He deserves the freedom of carzola, and a more central role. He only plays well when he runs the team…… Zenit … Russia …..


When Arshavin went back to Zenit he actually played left wing/inside forward.


uncalled for sir! he had multiple assists and it was his strike that theo converted for the 6th goal


yeah dont know what game you were watching but Arshavin put in a shift and a half. Ran at the reading defense at any opportunity and always gave them trouble. his final ball was lacking at times but he worked damn hard. Chamakh had a great game too, only difference between the two is that Chamakh’s balls and flicks were coming off nicely where Arsh struggled a little.


Plus side for Arshavin was that he put in the first industrious shift I’ve seen him produce for a while and was very effective.

Minus side, he needs to stop trying to knock balls through the centre of defence. I lost count of the number he gave away trying to do that.


He is talking bollox the mere cat was amazing tonight.


he’s not a mere cat, he’s a meer cat!


Actually, he’s a meerkat


Arshavin was a different player when he moved centrally in the second half and extra time. He’s just not a winger, never has been, except that Wenger has always insisted on using him there.


To quote today’s blog

“I admit that I like the Rumbelows Milk Littlewoods Coca-Cola Carling Capital One Cup […] because it provides football we can watch without the stomach-churning pressure of every other game we play these days.”

Yeah right! 😛

Thomas B

So sorry for the guy leaving in the 37th minute.


lol what a waste of an away game ticket. fair enough we were crap the first half, but if theres one thing we know is that we comeback more often than not.


Not sorry for him at all. If he doesn’t support the team in bad times he doesn’t deserve the good times.



I’ve been going to watch Arsenal for 18 years and still haven’t left before a final whistle yet,

The guy who didn't leave

Lol…… If I see him anywhere around the emirates i’ll slap him right in the face. It’s his loss anyway he didn’t get full satisfaction for his ticket and Chamakh scored two fucking goals. How often does that happen? Get in!


Seems he came back, I forgive him now.
Probably went to pick up his heart medicine or something…….Geez!….arsenal why you do this to him?


I think he might have been going for a piss,give the guy the benefit.


He could have just have had a few too many before the match and needed a wizz. Or to walk away and cool down for a minute. That guy might have been back in his seat for the second half. The Gooners who were in Reading tonight carried the team home. We are proud of ye


He didn’t leave!


in that case well done lad and my bad for jumping the gun. away fans were incredible tonight, carried the team to the 96th minute. need some of that at the home games sometimes too.


fucking love arsenal, fucking love gooners


To be fair, maybe he just needed a beer, or some heart medicine. At the world cup they showed some lady in the stands crying after a goal, but the person was filmed earlier and they just cut it in. Would they show you if he came back?

Thomas B

Seems like he went for a beer. Sorry for jumping the gun. The producers made it look like he was leaving…

Have to say that the supporters were amazing tonight!


He actually did stay till the end. He’s been tweeting pictures. Apparently went for an early break at HT.

Andre's recently hired chauffeur

Funny story, he never left.
He surely is Arsenal ’til he dies.

Solomon Lee Sware

I’m really glad he didn’t leave. When I was watching it on telly, I kept wondering if he heard about the comeback on the radio or something like those liverpool fans in Istanbul… What a night!


You sure he left?


That fan didn’t leave the game:

Just the TV presentation being sensational as always or catching him at a bad moment.

Big Chief from Antarctica


Merlin's Panini

Fucking amazing game. Truly did it the Arsenal way! Made us furious then oh so insanely happy. Just wow! The players that needed to do something did something! Chamakh just scored more in one game than the whole of last season!


If waited a very, very long time to sign the Chamakh song.

He’s not white
He’s not black
he comes from a place no far from Iraq
He got shit hair and he plays in attack
He my mat marouane chamakh
Na na na na nah Ooh
Na na na na nah Ooh


Morocco is further from Iraq than Britain is.

Also he’s from France.


No actually he is Morrocan


Bearcum (yuck), you know that, I know that, but that is the song the ultra fans sing for Chamakh. You should get out more 🙂


No, actually he was born in France to Moroccan immigrant parents and raised there, which makes him French.


He plays for Morocco. That means he’s Moroccan. Footballistically.


Who cares if he’s Moroccan or French? He was a Gunner last night.

Dial Square

Thats 2 minutes of your life you spent writing that song, that you will never get back…..think on….


Lighten up dude! Its a fun song. Puts a smile on my ugly mug very time the fans sing it. I did author it and I dont take credit for it. I just think its a silly song but the best one the fans sing for Chamakh.


Shit fucking song


Lets just forget the contract situation for one game and let Walcott start, Evra is shit so he’ll get a new arsehole ripped.


Reading cott out.
What a Game its 4 am here i dont even care.

Eric Irish gunner

What a game I need a fucking pacemaker fitted when watching arsenal, Walcott can be leathal on his day, delighted for the players

The Cygan's Return

I can feel ASBO coming my way as my celebratin for the 4th and 5th goals errrr lets say I Opened the window and screamed till I woke up everyone one around.

Matt Jarvis' Uncle

The demons of Newcastle 4-4 were exorcised tonight.


Chamakh: The Movie


Chamakh the movie: from sheesha to victor.


I am still pretty speechless! This is why we love this team. This is what makes life beautiful!

Up The Gunners! And kudos for getting this match report out so quickly, boss!


never again… my heart can’t take it- but that was absolutely fantastic!!!!


bring on the mancs!!!


I’ve been an Arsenal Fan for thirty-five years and that was the most bonkers, mental games of football that I have ever seen. Giroud and Walcott made all the difference.


Terrible defending, amazing spirit!

Arsene's Nose

I just Feel sorry for that Fan I saw Leave 1st half…


Nah, fuck him. If he only supports the team when they’re winning he deserves to have missed that show.

Matt Jarvis' Uncle

Yes, and credit to the those that stayed and were singing there lungs out despite being 4-0 down.


Actually allow it – seems like he just went off to get a pie:


Our away fans were inspiring. Rocks! Fitting all goals barred one were scored in front of them.

GunnerDareMacedonia WRONG WRONG WRONG he was taking a piss !


He. Didn’t. Leave.


Hade some work to do, looked up the tv around the 40th minute, Oh mon dieu!! Arsenal are losing by 4 goals! Don’t want to see that, turn it off.
Check on the score later on? WTF?!!!!!!!!!!
I am doomed… but happy


Chamakh scores 2.
Three last minute equalisers.
French lads unfamiliar with English cup rules.
Damien Martinez.
Being four nil up and ending the game 7-5 down.

I thought The Thick of It was going to be the best comedy I saw this week.


Oleg Luzhny

Forget they were down 4-0, they did well to fight back obviously.

I haven’t seen any highlights but I’m just going to enjoy this and take it as a football aberration!


Please go on and win this cup AW. It’d just be so beautiful after this. And it’s only our 5th priority! Imagine our 1st!


No player is worth 100k a week, but because we are so lacking up front we have boxed ourselves into a corner with theo. we now have to keep him at all costs. 3 good goals and a good performance. And breathe.


A player is worth what the market is willing to pay – fact of life.


Actually, that’s not true. If two teams have infinite money, that skews values on the market.


@ witoldo Read: “A player is worth what the market is willing to pay – fact of life.” again.

If someone with more money than you is prepared to pay more than you for a certain item then that’s “the market”. Football players, houses, tomatoes, crude oil or money (interest).
It doesn’t matter if you THINK the market is distorted by however many teams. Live with it, The Arsenal has more money than Bolton. Live with it.
UP The Arsenal!

The Cygan's Return

Eisman, man of the match.
Arsha, back to his best.
Theo, give him that 100K contract NOW.
Giroud, played like his life depend on it.

Above all ….
The Retrun of the Chamk after being kidnap by ductch gang to give Van Parasite chance to look good.

What a game still screaming my head and kicking myself as I was offered a ticket to go and turned it down. I feel worse than the guy that left after 37 mins.


Reading, Reading, we kicked their fucking heads in!

Dr Baptiste

This sort of comment isn’t needed after that game.


it’s OK, he’s a doctor (too)


I kinda felt sorry for their manager Brian McDermott who once played for Arsenal. I always have a soft spot for ex-arsenal player turned Managers.

Oregon Gooner

Unbelievable game, really you could never have scripted it.

So proud of the away fans, you could hear them on the tv even at 4 down. Brilliant. The ones that left will be gutted.

I love you Arsenal.

p.s. anyone see the camera span to Djourou when GIROUD scored his first.


TV director humour: Subtle but powerful.

gooner odst

Absolutely correct. The away fans are something else…MotM in my humble opinion. They sang and the team responded.

North Bank Gooner

i recently posted that our home fans need to make a bit more noise, after seeing us outsung by coventry in the last round.

THAT is what i am talking about!! the away boys should be proud this morning, they made an extraordinary amount of noise. if we could get that kind of an atmosphere at home games, true support, it would surely add points.


gooner odst

You can understand why the home fans are a bit flat, what with all the economic situation, downtempo team performances, end up not focusing on the game at all and just can’t be asked to sing. How I see it is that, home fans enter the stadium expecting the team to do something that will stir the hornets nest that is the crowd, and if the team doesn’t do anything special then thats it. It is something that has to change. Maybe it will encourage more shots on target and a ‘will to win’ attitude when games are a bit… Read more »

North Bank Gooner

i take your point, we havent set the emirates alight in the last few games. but its now a cliche commonly used that the crowd can be like an extra player. if all the players can hear from the crowd is tension, and the away fans asking “shall we sing a song for you” it doesnt do much to boost confidence. our away fans are awesome! at man u last year we were 3 down, but all you could hear for about 10 minutes near half time was arsenal songs. last night we were 3 down, and the fans were… Read more »


Chamakh is now our 2nd best goalscorer per mi.s on the pitch. Once giroud came on he looked like a player again for the first time in 18 months. i am certain it is too late for him now but at least he may have a.bit of confidence again and hopefully earn us a transfer fee.

Love struck !!

I’m 16….n I have an exam tomorrow…its 4 am here.. had to sneak outa house to watch the game …But fuck that…I love The Arsenal even more now !!


I’m shit lost for fuck words to say! #Numb. 🙂


Y’know, I wouldn’t have mind Giroud playing for 30 mins with his shirt off.

gooner odst

Well… fuck me backwards on a stick riding a flaming donkey into hell wearing a Darth Vader suit playing blackjack on solar powered calculator….

Special mention to the lad Mead. Coming on as a sub in that situation, you really need your wits about you. Arshavin, Chamack, Walcott HOLY FUCK!!!!!1111 READING MUST FEEL LIKE SHIT!

Mikel Artekkers

Wenger out! No wait, Reading out! Muahahahaahah


That’s why I love The Arsenal.

TV showed a guy walking out of the stadium when Reading scored 4th… what could he be thinking right now.

Theo please stay!

Gunners for life! COYG!


“Wow, that was a refreshing piss. Now it’s time to go back my seat and sing Arsenal on to an improbable comeback.”


Hat off to the lads. I honestly never believed it was possible even at 4-2, but they kept at it and made history. Cheers!!!


Remember reading lost 7-4 to Portsmouth in 08? Well, they’ll have to exorcise those demons sometime later, but today was just crazy. Absolutely crazy. That is why no other club could ever even enter my brain.

Arsenal fucking football club!!!


What a game! What a night!!!!


On the eve of halloween, when there is no more room in hell…
Chamakh shall rise again!




Andre's recently hired chauffeur

I also think you should get out of work early tomorrow, and get your caps lock button fixed. Nothing personal.

Biggus Dickus

That was just nuts! Come on Arsenal!


Shockspokes am speechless!!!!
What a game!!!
Up arsenal!!!!
Love this club to bits!!!


Walcott was amazing! Give him a new contract! What a night. Remember when we talked about how Steve Bould had improved the defence….boring boring Arsenal!!


i can’t even understand what i’ve just seen


wtf? 5-7 and Chamakh scoring from outside the box?



At least Koscielny potted an own goal as usual. The world is not completely off its axis.

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