Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental.

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Post by Jay29 Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:37 pm

I'm sitting here and still cannot believe what I've just witnessed. I know Arsenal have a bad and heart attack inducing habit of getting into crazy games, but this one just took the cake. Just about every unlikely event that could have happened tonight, did, and after all, Arsenal have made it through to the quarterfinals of a cup that nobody really gives a damn about.

It was to no surprise that Arsenal completely changed their team for this one. Martinez, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Djourou, Miquel, Coquelin, Frimpong, Walcott, Arshavin, Gnabry and Chamakh all came in for a chance to prove themselves and gain a bit more match fitness. Reading, meanwhile, went with a full strength eleven.

There was the sense before the game than an upset was on the cards. Arsenal had a weakened team out, while Reading had a full strength team, were in need of a win and were playing in front of a full house on a cup evening. I was actually expecting the game to be difficult and for Reading to most likely win. You can't really blame me, seeing the sort of players we had out there.

Still, even if I did expect a shock, I, and certainly nobody else, foresaw what would happen.

First half

Predictably, Reading started the brighter of the two sides and in the opening ten minutes scored the first goal with an ease that would not have looked out of place if it were Arsenal doing the scoring. They played the ball down the left, where absolutely no one tracked the run, and the ball came into a completely unmarked Roberts who bashed it in. Koscielny lost Roberts far too easily for that goal and, unfortunately, it would not be the first time Roberts would get the best of him.

How did Arsenal react? By going 2-0 down, of course. Miquel gets megged, the Reading player gets in behind and plays it in and Koscielny concedes his 1000th own goal in an Arsenal shirt. I can't decide if there's a technical fault somewhere or if he's just really unlucky.

Then it was 3-0. Leigetwood was given space on the edge of the box, he got his shot away and Martinez made a complete mess of saving it.

20 minutes gone, 3-0 down, individual errors everywhere, hilarious mistakes, poor passing, absolutely no movement... it was beyond embarrassing. When we went 4-0 down, I honestly thought we could lose the game by 6 or 7. Never had I seen us play so poorly, B team or not.

What was more worrying was that it was the fourth game in a row, after Norwich, Schalke and QPR, that we were playing like this, and so bad was the performance that I found myself unable to criticise the chanting of "We want our Arsenal back" by the fans.

Walcott's well taken goal was something to cheer, at least. In amongst the ironic cheers and announcements of epic comebacks, I still desperately needed a comforting hug at half time...

Second half

Arsenal needed a miracle to get anything out of this game. Even with Wenger's eerily calm threats of "trick" on Halloween tomorrow, it was still hard to see just where Arsenal were going to find the quality to score three more goals. No changes at halftime just further compounded that feeling.

With the scoreline still 4-1 after 60 minutes, a miracle happened: Arsene Wenger made a substitution before the 70th minute. Thomas Eisfeld and Olivier Giroud came on for Serge Gnabry and Emmanuel Frimpong and Arsenal went to goold ole' 4-4-2, another minor miracle in itself.

The subs galvanised Arsenal's performance. Eisfeld was a livewire in the centre and added energy and fluency to our play. Giroud looked eager to get on the ball and make things happen. The Frenchman made it 4-2 by nodding in Walcott's corner and suddenly the comeback was actually on. Wenger had made early subs, he had changed formation, and Arsenal had scored a header from a corner. It was anything goes at that point.

The next twenty minutes, Arsenal were positive but were wasteful, and they were far from convincing at the back still. Koscielny, in particular, was having a nightmare against Roberts, and was incredibly fortunate not to receive a second yellow card. Reading fans will have every right to be furious with the referee here, as it was Koscielny who would score our third, again from a corner.

As we entered stoppage time, we really didn't look like grabbing that equaliser. Reading were penning us back into our own half and we were struggling to win the ball. 5 minutes of stoppage time played when there was only 4 added... it was over, surely.

But, since football is a bitch who likes to mess with everyone, there would be an equaliser. Walcott got on the end of Giroud/Chamakh's knock down, got a shot away that eeped over the line by a yard. Just to make sure, Jenkinson followed up and made sure the ball was past the line. It's been given as Jenkinson's goal, and you have to give him a lot of credit for having the awareness to score when he could have easily complained to the ref and linesmen.

Extra time on the way. Things were looking up...

Extra time

To start off with, Giroud and Coquelin both threw their shirts in the crowd, thinking the game is over. Highly amusing. Thankfully, they got their shirts back. The fans may be disappointed not to come away with a Giroud shirt, but at least they got a look at his abs.

Quite possibly the most shocking event of the night: Marouane Chamakh, the man who had no business being on the pitch at that point, popped up to score from outside the bloody penalty area. I was an amusing sight; celebrating like mad whilst gaping like a goldfish.

At 5-4, though, I felt it was inevitable that Reading would score again and they did. At this point, only a penalty shootout could make this night any more barmy than it already was.

Of course, it didn't end there. Arshavin, still somehow running after 120 minutes of football, got a shot away. It was blocked on the line, but Walcott was there to follow up and make it 6-5. Did it end there? Nope. Chamakh lobbed Federici to make it 7-5. Chamakh freakin' lobbed someone.

Was anyone counting the miracles?

Perspective

It's hard to have any after such a night, but unfortunately I feel a need to be a bit of a wet blanket. It's a great win; phenomenal comeback on top of that. But, and it's a big but, it papers over the cracks. This habit of starting so slowly and playing so poorly that we wouldn't even beat East Thurrock has to stop, otherwise this season will go to pieces. It was so bad that Reading, who haven't been that great this season, were 4-0 up.

Imagine if we start like that against United on Saturday? It would be an absolute disaster. Maybe tonight's result will give us a much needed boost, I sincerely hope it does, but the sooner this problem gets resolved, the better.

On a more positive note, Walcott was brilliant and has to be starting. I don't give a damn about his contract situation, he's clearly the most in form winger we have currently and should be playing.

There was a lot of hype surrounding Gnabry, but it was the other German kid, Eisfeld, that really impressed tonight. I think he should see more first team action.

Giroud was excellent, took his goal very well and should start up front.

Koscielny's form is a worry, considering he's supposedly our best defender.

Overall, it's a great win on a mental night, but it's important to remember that there are still problems and that tonight could have easily been a disaster.

Incidentally, in case you've forgotten, the draw for the COC quarterfinals will be after the Chelsea/United game tomorrow night.


Last edited by GoonerJay29 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Amar Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:39 pm

lol what did I just see?
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Post by Rev Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:43 pm

Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental. I_came11
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Post by EL Patron Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:43 pm

chamack happened
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Post by Sina Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:45 pm

banana banana Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental. Mike110Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental. 37329810 :bow:
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Post by MJ Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Does this mean Chamakh is staying? scratch

lol
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Post by Eman Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:56 pm

At first I was like Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental. 2276801876 Clubber

But then I was like banana Chaka

The Eisfeld and Giroud subs really changed the game.
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Post by Rev Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:59 pm

Chamakh's contract to be bumped with an additional 20k/week for 3 more years. albino
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Post by 6unner Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:59 pm

MJGunner wrote:Does this mean Chamakh is staying? scratch

lol

He would not leave in any case since nobody is willing to pay his wages. He will be here until his contract is up like squalichi.

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Post by RealGunner Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:01 pm

I don't know what the f should i do now
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Post by EL Patron Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:05 pm

Impressed with Eisfeild out there, the guy did well in such a high pressure situation.
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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:08 pm

What I miss? rofl
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Post by Sina Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:08 pm

The last team to lose an English league game 7-5 are Reading (v Doncaster in September 1982). Trademark.

this was classy by Reading
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It hurts. But you also have to give huge credit to Arsenal for an incredible comeback. #readingfc

oh and middle finger to piers morgan Laughing
can bleep off and support spuds


Last edited by Sina on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by MJ Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:10 pm

Yeah the Eisfeld + Giroud subs were brilliant, made all the difference, Eisfeld looked very comfortable in midfield if not a little fragile and iffy in his decision making, good potential though.

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Post by MJ Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:16 pm

Theo with 3 goals (If the 96th minute one turns out to be his) and 3 assists (corners to Giroud and Kos and the long lob to Chamakh for the last goal)
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Post by Kwame2u Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:22 pm

Eisfeld looks like he could do well in the current Arteta role if given the chance to grow into it.

And who said Chamack cant shoot. Arsh also showed glimpses of his magic
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Post by urbaNRoots Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:28 pm

It must've been epic for a neutral but as an Arsenal fan I'm pissed off at this performance. First half performance was one of the worst I've seen in my life.

Good job on Wenger to turn things around, Giroud/Walcott/Chamakh MOTM - can't separate them.

Defense was just horrible and I'm not going to talk about Frimpong, looked like a pub player out there, easily flop of the match.
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Post by Wilson37 Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:33 pm

What was that ?
I was on travel and missed the match completely..:facepalm: Oh i need to search badly the tv schedule for a retelecast..
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Post by Sina Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:36 pm

we can share links for full match mate
many would want to re-watch Wink


Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal: Absolutely. Effing. Mental. 81399311


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Post by EL Patron Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:38 pm

We can't afford to keep starting poorly like this, it's happening to often. We started the game half a sleep ffs, poor defending, poor passing, no pressure on the ball.. The first half was just vintage Arsenal this season, expecting to turn up and just win it without actually playing well. Koscielny and Djourou had an absolute shocker tonight, Roberts raped them all game and we are supposed to rely on these lot if Mertesacker, Vermaelen are injured :facepalm:

Martinez should go on loan, he looked all over the place whenever the ball went in the box. If he doesn't we will end up with another Flappers at the club.
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Post by Wilson37 Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:44 pm

Sina wrote:we can share links for full match mate
many would want to re-watch Wink
thanks friend..
Sigh of relief..Shocked Cant imagine what would have been the situation if we lost this game after conceding four in first half to Reading... It will go into history as one of the best comebacks.. Something in retaliation for the 4-4 match..
All is fine that ends well..
Walcott and Chamakh saves the day for the club..
Btw.. I read in lol.com that Walcott was playing centrally.. Was it true ? What was the formation considering we had Giroud and Chamakh also playing ?
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Post by Jay29 Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:48 pm

Write up is complete, if anyone is interested in my ramblings.

Other results tonight btw:

Swindon 2 - 3 Aston Villa
Sunderland 0 - 1 Middlesbrough
Wigan 0 - 0 Bradford (Bradford won 4-2 on pens)
Leeds 3 - 0 Southampton

Tomorrow's games:

Chelsea vs Man United
Liverpool vs Swansea
Norwich vs Spurs

Still three lower league sides left in the competition. At least one of the big boys guaranteed to go out tomorrow, too. Would be nice if Liverpool and Spurs could follow.

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Post by Raptorgunner Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:55 pm

Was Koscielny that bad?

Missed the first half. :bow: banana
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Post by SamuelJayC Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:01 am

I'm still in shock. Can't quite believe what I watched tonight. I got back from work hoping for a quiet 2-0 win, and before I knew it, we were 4-0 down. The anger from myself and the Arsneal fans on twitter at that point had reached danger levels, but the boys did show incredible bravery in coming back tonight, it has to be said.

Giroud and Eisfeld should rightly grab a lot of the headlines, both changed the game. It's been said a lot that the amount of goals Arsenal concede when Arshavin and Walcott are wide is always high, and so it proved again tonight, but going forward both were electric, more so the latter.

Walcott had one of his best ever games for Arsenal, whilst Arshavin, despite giving the ball away on several occasions with sloppy lazy passes, was actually very influential, with 3 assists (I think). Like many say on twitter, could he be a better option than Gervinho from now?

Defensively, of course, we were horrendous. Koscielny made Roberts look like Eto'o and Henry rolled into one, and Djourou, whilst better than his cb partner, was iffy. Jenkinson getting beat by Hunt for the 4-0 header wasn't great either. Martinez of course with the 3-0 error.

But the league cup is full of surprises. 5-1 defeat to Spurs. 6-3 win at Anfield. Crazy stuff happens in this competition. I just hope for an easy home draw in the next round. Though, something tells me, no draw will be easy for this inconsistent Arsenal side.
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Post by EL Patron Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:10 am

Raptorgunner wrote:Was Koscielny that bad?

Missed the first half. :bow: banana

He is going through a rough patch at the moment, lucky to stay on the pitch tonight.
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