Reading 5 Arsenal 7
Just looking at the score from this league cup match in 2012 makes one still think there must be a misprint. So here is a video to remind you that it was true…
The article below is taken from the comments written immediately after the game by “GF60” – for the blog “Untold Arsenal.”
The goals came from Walcott, Giroud, Koscielny, Waclott, Chamakh, Chakakh, Walcott. The first was scored on 45 minutes, and the last on 120 minutes. Others in the team included Emi Martinez, Francis Coquelin, Johann Djourou, Andrei Arshavin, Serge Gnabry… Six of the team got yellow cards during the course of the game.
There was no sign that such a weird game was about to come along. In the three previous games Arsenal had lost to Norwich and beaten QPR in the Premier League and lost to Schalke at home in the Champions League. Hardly title winning form, but even so, not normally a prelude to letting in five against Reading.
We had let in six goals in nine games and didn’t just have the best defence in the league we had thus far let in under half the number of goals that Manchester United – the ultimate winners of the league that season had let in.
But we took the usual full complement of supporters to the game. Did any leave after 45 minutes? Probably not, because everyone was too shocked and bemused even to think about leaving.
It was however a really awful first half, as three of the outfield players had listened to one team talk, three to another, and the last three hadn’t arrived in time to hear the team talk.
Reading had not won a game all season before this match… and had four poins from eight games. In those games they had scored 11 and let in 17.
Our first team had just struggled to beat bottom of the league QPR, and the injury list stretched to hte horizon. But everyone decided to have a night off. Even players like Jenkijnson who although hardly a star was always solid and consistent looked seriously out of touch.
The travelling away support did their best and actually drowned out the home crowd who looked and sounded as if they simply could not believe that this was real.
The song “We want our money back” transmuted into “We want our Arsenal back” and suddenly the two players who had shown some enthusiasm, Theo and Andrey, (Surprise, surprise) linked up to make it “only” 4-1 down at half time.
The second half started in similar fashion, Reading moving faster and thinking quicker but then Giroud and Eisfeld came on to replace Frimpong and Gnabry – yes Gnabry, the player how wowing one and all for , neither of whom had enjoyable evenings, and the fun started.
Andrey was running his socks off and having his best game for over two years, Giroud was a massive force in both his positioning and off the ball running, young Eisfeld looked sharp and intelligent and Theo was Theo without many of the irritating bits.
Even with Olly’s header though it still looked as though we were going out but those 2 goals in the last minutes of normal time and (thanks Kevin Friend) the last, last second of a generous amount of added time brought the crowd what it deserved, the players the respect they’d earned and the chance to sing “4-0 and they mucked (?) it up” as opposed to having it sung at us by bar-code supporters.
The barminess continued. A Marouane goal, a Reading equalizer (how dare they?) and then another from Theo and then, did you see the blue moon?, another from Marouane which really was icing on the cake.
An unbelievable night…more surprising than that 6-3 at Anfield a couple of seasons back…. for sure I can’t remember us pulling back a 4-0 deficit let alone pulling it back and winning…and for sure a 12 goal aggregate Arsenal game hasn’t happened since the 1930’s 6-6 draw at Leicester.