Reading 5 Arsenal 7: Arsène Wenger hails Gunners’ fighting spirit

Reading 5 Arsenal 7: Arsene Wenger praised his side's attitude after the Gunners fought back from four goals down to seal victory

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Reading
5
Arsenal
7

Arsène Wenger praised his side’s never-say-die attitude after Arsenal came back from four goals down to seal an unforgettable Capital One Cup victory over Reading.

The Gunners were 4-0 down just before half-time but fought back to level the score and force the fourth-round clash into extra-time, before sealing a dramatic victory late on.

“You always see new things in our game and that’s why it’s never boring,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “It was 4-0 and it could have been one or two more but in the second half we created chance after chance.

“You cannot play for Arsenal and give up, no matter what the score is.

“The players understood that at half-time and that you cannot go out in the second half with the same performance. Give them credit, they responded very well and showed that.”

Reading came storming out of the blocks and raced into a 3-0 lead inside 20 minutes thanks to strikes from Jason Roberts and Mikele Leigertwood either side of Laurent Koscielny’s own goal.

And Brian McDermott’s side extended their advantage when Noel Hunt headed home, before Theo Walcott pulled one back for the visitors on the stroke of half-time.

Substitute Olivier Giroud’s header then made it 4-2 in the 64th minute, before Koscielny made amends for his earlier own goal with a close-range finish one minute from time to give the Gunners late hope of a dramatic comeback.

Reading looked like they would hold on for the win despite being pegged back to 4-3, but Carl Jenkinson drilled home in the 95th minute to force the tie into extra-time, despite Walcott’s original effort appearing to have crossed the line before falling to the defender.

Marouane Chamakh then put Arsenal ahead for the first time with a low strike from the edge of the box.

But Reading refused to give in and equalised when Pavel Pogrebnyak’s header beat Damian Martinez in the Arsenal goal in the 116th minute.

Yet it was the Gunners who had the final say, with Walcott putting Wenger’s men ahead again and Chamakh grabbing his second of the night with a neat chip to cap an extraordinary night at the Madejski Stadium and book the Londoners’ place in the fifth round.

“It was an unbelievable game,” said man-of-the-match Walcott. “We started very sloppily and we had to wake up.

“The boss told us that we had to go at it and that it wasn’t good enough, and we showed everyone what we can do. We never gave up.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Man United react to Jose Mourinho-Paul Pogba bust up – report
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Jose Mourinho urges Paul Pogba to make Man United transfer decision – report
The Sport Review
ITF approves ‘world cup’ restructure of Davis Cup
The Sport Review
Jurgen Klopp told new Liverpool FC signing is ‘sensitive’ player