Reading 2-5 Arsenal: Santi Cazorla Hits Hattrick in Madejski Thriller
Live Premier League commentary
Lukas Podolski (ARS) 13', Santi Cazorla (ARS) 31', Santi Cazorla (ARS) 34', Santi Cazorla (ARS) 59', Adam Le Fondre (REA) 65', Jimmy Kebe (REA) 70', Theo Walcott (ARS) 79'.
Reading: Federici; Cummings, Shorey, Gorkss, Mariappa; Leigertwood, Tabb, Kebe (McCleary), McAnuff; Hunt (Le Fondre), Pogrebnyak (Robson-Kanu).
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Cazorla (Coquelin), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey), Podolski; Walcott (Giroud).
That's it for the live commentary tonight, I'm off to dip my fingers in a nice bucket of ice water after all that and get them ready for more live action at the weekend.
Thanks very much for joining me as ever, congratulations to Arsenal and commiserations to Reading—see you next time!
Full time in the Premier League from the Madejski Stadium
Reading 2 (Le Fondre, Kebe)
Arsenal 5 (Podolski, Cazorla 3, Walcott)
Well that was some game I'm sure you'll agree.
Arsenal move up to fifth place, two points off the Champions League spots. Reading stay rooted to the bottom of the table for now and they have much ground to catch up to have a chance of avoiding relegation in the second half of the season.
Three for Santi Cazorla and one apiece for Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott did the damage for Arsenal, despite a brief comeback from Reading through goals from Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe.
It was comfortable for long spells for the Gunners and should have been seen out without the anxieties they gave themselves, but they are worthy winners of the three points and a three-goal winning margin certainly doesn't flatter them.
Full time at the Madejski Stadium
Reading 2 Arsenal 5
90+2'—Almost a sixth and final goal as Giroud is in behind the defence but his attempted lob is saved by Federici.
90+2'—Le Fondre with a chip from the edge of the area on the advice of the crowd, but Szczesny is well placed to just catch the ball on his line. Last seconds of the game.
90+1'—Reading still pressing numbers forward to their credit, they have improved after the break, but their dreadful first 45 minutes has cost them dear tonight. Podolski feeds a low cross over for Giroud but he can't divert his first shot of the match on target.
Three minutes added on.
89'—Chance for McAnuff there. He's played in on goal with a fine pass but tries to cut back inside Vermaelen instead of shooting, but the Belgian defender sticks a leg out to make the tackle.
88'—Here come the Gunners again, looking to finish with a flourish. They work the ball the width of the pitch to draw Reading out, but the home side have nine behind the ball now and the spaces are harder to come by.
86'—Just for a 20 minute spell, mind you. The first half, Arsenal absolutely waltzed.
86'—Final minutes of the game now and surely even this fixture can't throw up any more surprises. Arsenal lead 5-2, but it's not been as easy as it might have been for the Gunners.
84'—Arsenal sub: Walcott off, Olivier Giroud comes on.
82'—Three goals and an assist for Cazorla, not a bad night's work. He gets a huge ovation as he leaves the field. Here come Arsenal again looking for a sixth, but Gibbs' cross is blocked by Cummings.
81'—Still pouring forward at the end of the game. Arsenal work it left to Podolski who thunders a drive in towards the near post, but just wide.
Arsenal sub: Santi Cazorla goes off, replaced by Francis Coquelin.
Well that's surely that this time! Cazorla again involved as he marauds through the centre of the Reading defence before releasing Walcott to his left. The forward cuts inside Gorkss and rolls a left-footed shot inside the far post, finally getting his goal from the centre forward's role. 5-2.
Reading 2 Arsenal 5
Theo Walcott, 79 mins
76'—Arsenal trying to lower the tempo of the game as it moves into the closing stages. Reading want to press, but they can't afford to concede a fifth surely.
74'—Fierce shot from Cazorla from space on the right side as Arsenal look to reassert some dominance in the game, but Federici beats it away. About 15 minutes left and Arsenal's four-goal lead has been reduced by half.
72'—What is going on. Wilshere has been booked for an ungainly challenge and Szczesny comes for a cross but completely misses. The home fans roar their team on, the manager makes a third change.
Reading sub: Gareth McCleary on for Jimmy Kebe.
Arsenal sub: Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced by Aaron Ramsey.
They couldn't, could they?! Suddenly it's 4-2 and Arsenal are looking rattled. Great footwork outside the area from Leigertwood to hold onto the ball and then play in Kebe, who immediately gets the ball out of his feet and slots home inside the near post. Szczesny apoplectic with his defence and the home support up with sudden renewed belief.
Reading 2 Arsenal 4
Jimmy Kebe, 70 mins
69'—Topsy turvy stuff between these two all season long then it seems. That's 17 goals in less than two matches this term so far.
And Reading have one back! Jay Tabb intercepts a loose pass from Gibbs and immediately plays in Le Fondre between the two centre backs. Le Fondre takes the ball round Szczesny and passes into the back of the net—4-1.
Reading 1 Arsenal 4
Adam Le Fondre, 65 mins
65'—The Reading fans try and get their team going with a few songs; they know there's still a long way to go here and their team might be in danger of getting a bit of a drubbing...but hang on...
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