Arsenal 2 – 1 Reading
The FA Cup was in sight, for the second year running. But before the final Arsenal needed to see off Reading. An easy fixture — on paper anyway.
Arsenal didn’t start particularly well, though.
Reading were pressing through Mackay and McCleary, whereas Alexis and Welbeck weren’t doing too much to keep The Gunners alight in the final third.
It was a bit of a stalemate until the fortieth minute, when Mesut Ozil produced an awesome over the top for Alexis. The Chilean was calm and composed, waiting for the right moment to slot the ball into the net. A nice, well-timed goal.
“Szczesney couldn’t react fast enough, and the ball went beyond the line. It was expected, and typical.”
In the second half, Reading continued to impress.
They hassled Arsenal and attacked meaningfully. In the fifty-fourth minute, a ball across goal was struck against Gibbs as it made its way towards goal.
Szczesney couldn’t react fast enough, and the ball went beyond the line. It was expected, and typical.
“Giroud’s introduction made a big difference, but the change didn’t come early enough…”
The game was once again quelled by Reading thereafter. Welbeck’s poor movement meant that Arsenal simply couldn’t craft any attacking moves.
Giroud’s introduction made a big difference, but the change didn’t come early enough. Ramsey hit the post from close range in the final moments, but it wasn’t long before the “final” whistle blew.
Extra time it was.
The opening few minutes saw nothing change. Arsenal still weren’t looking dangerous enough. The game was crying out for Theo Walcott, really.
The first half was nearly over before Arsenal got another goal. Alexis Sanchez shot at the near post, and the Goalkeeper Federici allowed it to slip through his legs, and over the line.
It was harsh on the Goalkeeper, but a goal is a goal.
The second half consisted of The Gunners preserving their lead. Reding tried, but their tired legs were obvious.
In the end, it was a scrappy performance, but a win is a win.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Made good punches, the blame for the Reading goal can’t be all on him. The deflection was mere yards away. Distribution poor again.
Not great. Poor going forward, not tight enough on his man at the back for Reading’s goal.
Fought hard for every ball, calm at all times.
Played well, went off injured in the second half.
No idea why Wenger chose today to bring him back, but he did okay. Definitely tired towards the end.
Another strong performance. Broke up play, held his own in a physical game.
Worked very hard, but he really should have scored once or twice. Good movement off the ball.
Great feet in all areas of the pitch, calm in possession, passing was solid.
Scored two goals, and worked very hard in extra time. However he was very poor overall, giving away possession more often than not.
Ozil: [8.5/10] – MOTM
Good energy, great football. The man is just a joy to watch, with silky passes and movement across the pitch. When the chips were down (and they often were) he was the outlet. Got two assists, too.
Poor movement, poor touch, not enough energy. Not sure what he brings to be quite honest.
Owned By Özil
It wasn’t a good performance.
Reading turned up, and they made it extremely difficult for Arsenal to settle in. However, poor performances by Welbeck and Alexis (yes, Alexis) meant that most attacks were fruitless.
Coquelin, Cazorla and Ozil had great games. Mesut in particular was superb, providing a reliable outlet when the pressure was on.
His passing was good, and he showed some silky moves all over the place. What a player.
Anyway, May 30th is the day Arsenal defend their trophy. Be there.