Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Report: Arsenal 2-0 Reading (inc. goals)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a brace as Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games and secured safe passage to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Reading at the Emirates.

The England international scored either side of the break to cap a fine individual showing and fully deserved the standing ovation afforded him by a buoyant Emirates crowd when he was substituted late on.

Arsenal had much of the better play in the opening stages, Carl Jenkinson forcing a save from Ali Al Habsi after a neat exchange with Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, starting in the centre of midfield, curling just wide on 19 minutes.

Moments later Lucas Perez rejected the chance to shoot when put through on goal, the Spaniard instead tried to find The Jeff only for his pass to be intercepted.

The Gunners, full of youthful enterprise and quick feet, fired more efforts in on goal. Before the half hour Iwobi curled wide and Elneny fired straight into the keeper’s arms.

The visitors, under the stewardship of former-Manchester United defender Jaap Stam, were patient in possession and deliberate in the build-up play but rarely troubled Damien Martinez’s goal.

When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found the net on 33 minutes it was nothing more than the Gunners deserved. It was a superb solo effort with the England international charging at the Reading box with pace before firing a low shot inside the far post on the diagonal. (1-0)

For all their dominance, the Gunners were lucky to make the half-time break with their lead intact as a shot by Callum Harriott from outside the area deflected off Gabriel and bounced off the top of Martinez’s bar.

Oxlade-Chamberlain set the tone for more Arsenal domination after the break with another determined run and shot. This time his effort was deflected for a corner.

Reading offered little up front although substitute Yann Kermogant did force a decent stop from Martinez who dived full stretch to claim his header across goal.

The Jeff made way for Olivier Giroud on 65 minutes, the striker making his first appearance since the red card picked up against Paris Saint Germain, and immediately took up a central position. Within five minutes the Frenchman nearly had his first goal of the season as his header from Elneny’s deep free-kick forced a great reflex stop from Al Habsi.

Lucas, who’d been hustle and bustle all evening without threatening to score, picked up an ankle knock on 70 minutes and was replaced by Chris Willock. The youngster could have scored with his first touch only to scuff a rebound wide after Chamberlain had again tested Al Habsi.

The Reading keeper next had to deny Iwobi whose rasping shot was destined for the top corner before a fine finger-tip save.

The mounting pressure proved too much for the visitors who finally caved with 12 minutes remaining.

After fine work by Rob Holding, who showed great skill to dart into the Reading box, the ball bounced to the edge of the area courtesy of a Giroud pass where Chamberlain hammered home a low shot through the crowded box.

There was a slight deflection as it found its way in, but the goal was nothing less than the England international deserved for a man of the match performance. He’d barely finished celebrating when Arsene Wenger replaced him with Gedion Zelalem. (2-0)

In the dying moments, Martinez preserved his clean sheet with a decent stop low to his left to keep out a free-kick. All in all, a very professional showing from the mix-and-match Gunners. Let’s hope for another home draw in the next round.

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Ox looked sharp!

Giroud Awakening

Great to see him get a couple of goals. His delivery for a lot of the crosses was quite poor though.


Zigackly! As soon as Elneny took over, we created a chance for Giroud.

Nacho Cheese Kalevra

Lol i ain’t seen the word “zigackly” used since the asterix and obelix comics.
A neat performance from the gunners.
can’t help but feel The Ox is slowly being played into top form.
same needs as jack, but game time was gonna be scrace for him.
hoping for a favorable home draw come the next match
Ma Name Is Jeff!

DB10's Air Milles

There were a few times where his decision making was quite off in this game. Still, he scored two great goals and really tried to make things happen, I just think there’s still a lot more to come from him. COYG


the OX other than those 2goals he was rubbish


As mediocre a two goal performance as there ever was, but hopefully it’ll do something for his confidence.

Mein Bergkampf

Was that Gravenberch definitely a football player? I think the pubs and clubs of Reading town centre are a bouncer short tonight… Thanks for the totally unnecessary and malicious challenge you twat. Hope it’s not too serious for Lucas.


All he did on the pitch was injure our Lucas. Useless donkey.

Mein Bergkampf

That’s not fair, apparently he stopped some of the lads wearing trainers getting in the players lounge…


Gravenberch lose. Gravenberch sad.

Mein Bergkampf

The different shades of Ox were showcased today.. All in all well played boys..

Granit(e) hard!

man of the match performance, 2 goals, and you are still having a go at him?….amazing!

DB10's Air Milles

I don’t think he’s necessarily ‘having a go at him’ as such…. although he put a real shift in and forced the game a lot, it was by no means a flawless performance. Some of his lesser qualities were also on display. That’s not to say that overall he didn’t have a good game which he capped with two goals, it just noting that there are still areas of his game that need cleaning up a bit.


Routine and never in doubt. Just hope Perez is ok.
Let’s hope for a matchup with Hull/Leeds/Norwich.

Getso gunner

Is it time for Chamberlain to replace Iwobi? I will say Yes

Bryce Hauver-Reeves

I will say No


the OX was terrible I don’t know how he got 2 goals lol

Mein Bergkampf

I respectfully disagree. Strangely for their comparative ages, Iwobi shows much greater consistency and maturity. But well done Alex. He’s definitely been a little short of confidence and hopefully this will do the trick.


Ox is good when he has to run at defences. Iwobi gives you more all-round quality, especially around tighter defences. OX is well behind in the creative dept.


It’s not time yet, but the decision is more difficult today than it was two weeks ago.


The Ox… Wonderful stuff tonight. Lovely to see him finally playing his way into form… Really hope he can push on now.


Giroud offers a completely different ball game with his flicks and ability to see a pass, never mind the monster he is in the air.


Yeah we definitely missed him against Middlesboro and Burnley etc. Although I think Alexis has shown himself to be the best option against defenses that are a bit more open.

Knight Dare

Jeff was poor. Expected more. The young lad exhibited beautiful nonsense and delayed plays.

Stringer Bell

Glad you didn’t say The Jeff, it’s cringe worthy


The quiet you


I thought most of the young midfielders and attackers were poor, Hollywood chips to no one, taking too long on the ball, generally not at the level. The contrast when Giroud came on was striking (pun intended).

Holding looks better than Gabriel and I don’t see a future for Gabriel.

Getso gunner

Atleast they give us a reason to forget that Boro game. Proud to be a gunner

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Lots of talking points out of this game – Ox’s performance, several youngsters getting minutes in a win, Lucas’ apparent refusal to use his right foot.

But one thing I liked was the continued emergence of Rob Holding. He had an excellent game in my opinion, and once or twice showed a nice bit of skill going on a run with the ball in the Reading third. He got thrown into the fire in the opener against Liverpool, but in the minutes he’s seen since I think he looks quite a player.

Mexican Gunner

For anyone who missed this beautiful piece of the liveblog from Blogs:
1. Zelalem cross, too high for Willock
2. Who is about 4’3 tall so most things are too tall for him
3. Apart from Peter Dinklage like
4. and Koala bears

Thanks blogs by the way for liveblogging every week, really apreciate it.


Imagine Willock against BFG XD

Now I wonder how tall he is against Arshavin 😮

Ox in the Box

Sure it goes without saying, but Ox is dangerous in and outside the box.

Well done boys! In my opinion we have the best squad in the league.


Holding solid

Stringer Bell

Rather have him on the bench than Gabriel.

Nacho Cheese Kalevra

Holding Safe as Houses


You’re quicker than lightning with your posts…. thanks 🙂

Sheffield Goon

I know it’s seen as unimportant, but would really like to win this cup this season.

Psycho Gooner

A straightforward win, as it should be. I’m glad to see the back of those days when we’d make a hash of these kind of games. As much as they were entertaining, they were not good for the overall confidence of the team! It’s better for the mind when you are beating Reading 2-0, rather than going 4 down in half-time before coming back to win it 7-5 in extra time.

Armchair Expert

That cynical foul on Giroud should have been a red card, right? RIGHT? Oh well…

A nice game overall though!


Only if you’re John Moss, and only if you’re bucking for demotion to the Championship for the next week.

Tom Gun

Great to see the Ox playing well and taking a game by the scruff of the neck. Challenge for him now is to be this effective against better opposition and add defensive discipline against opposition that can actually threaten us. I love the Ox and think there is an absolutely outstanding player in there. Just needs to stop giving the ball away against better opposition who put pressure on him, and aforementioned defensive discipline. Also, I’ve only listened on 5 live extra and seen the posted highlights on Arsenalist but the radio commentators suggested Perez had a really poor game.… Read more »

Lloyd Townsend

he put a lot of forward pressure on but was overall a little wasteful with his passing. I wouldn’t say it was anything to be concerned about!

Granit(e) hard!

Good all round team performance and a well deserved win. Well done lads!. Clean sheet is nice too.

Special shout out to the ox who is getting better and better each game. impressed with Iwobi too, who seems to be looking to be Ozil’s heir apparent with his brilliant range of passing.

We seem to be firing on all cylinder on all fronts this season so perhaps maybe a double? or perhaps a treble please?……yeah, i know, i am i getting too ahead of myself, right? but then no harm in dreaming.


Good free kick save by Martinez at the end!!


The Corporal!


The more games the Ox gets the better. A run of games and playing with confidence will only benefit. Coming back from injury and getting 15 minutes as a sub is the reason why he struggles. He may make mistakes and his passing may go astray from time to time, but practise makes perfect and the more he plays the better he can be. He has all the attributes to be a really good footballer if he can stay fit. Keep the faith, COME ON YOU GUNNERS.

DB10's Air Milles

I couldn’t agree more!
There’s aspects of his game that are still a little messy at times but I agree that will improve with game time and confidence.


You can say that of anyone, though. While I’d love for Ox to get a few games in a row, for that to happen someone else is going to have to sit. Who would that be? Everyone’s playing so well right now that it’s very hard to change the starting line-up.

DB10's Air Milles

You’re absolutely right, The obvious answer is that, currently, I wouldn’t swap him for Theo or Iwobi, that doesn’t make the point less valid though. It’s an observation, not a demand.


Who is next? COYG!

Nacho Cheese Kalevra

Despite the fact that they’ll be the home side, they won’t come out and play ball :'(


I can’t seem them parking the bus at home, not with Moyes in charge. I think we’ll go up there and smash them. Possibly a league record for goals in one match. In fact, possibly a world record.


Arsenal were poor tonight. Luckily Reading were worse.


If you consider Iwobi may be the only player in that starting 11 that will also start on Saturday. it may be a little harsh to complain we were poor. that wasn’t the Arsenal first team.

To turn it around, our kids plus a few squad players were good enough to comfortably beat a top-half championship team. The lack of big names of the bench was telling as well.

Jensen James

Chambord for the last of it.


Great to see the team do well. And Ramsey’s not even back!


Does nobody else think that the Ox being taken off and Iwobi being left on could signify the former starting for the next match?


ox willingness to have a go on goal from distance is commendable. Against teams that park the bus, long range shots should be encouraged. sometimes they go in after taking a vicious deflection giving opposing keepers no chance

Ponsonby gooner

I would say holding and Jenkinson played well.

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