Reading vs. Arsenal: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

READING, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal (R) celebrates with Santi Cazorla after scoring their fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Reading and Arsenal at Madejski Stadium on December 17, 2012 in Reading, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Santi Cazorla netted a hat tick as Arsenal went into Madejski Stadium and embarrassed Reading, 5-2. 

The Gunners upped their point total to 24 with the win and they are tied for eighth in the EPL. Meanwhile, Reading sit in dead last and hold steady at nine points, and given this performance there is nothing to suggest they will be climbing the EPL ladder anytime soon. 

The lopsided score doesn't do justice to just how much Arsenal dominated. 

The Gunners finished this game with 67 percent possession, and they were doing just about everything they wanted to on the pitch. They took 25 shots on the match. 

Lukas Podolski got the scoring started off in the 14th minute when he fielded a soft cross and easily beat the defense. It was not a particularly strong play, but it didn't need to be to beat this defense. 

At that point, Cazorla took over. He scored the match's next three goals, scoring the final of those three in the 60th minute. By the time Cazorla scored his third goal of the match, Arsenal were putting on a passing clinic, and several players passed on good looks themselves. 

It was almost like they were tired of scoring on the helpless Reading defense. 

Reading scored the next two goals, but the second came in the 71st minute and I don't think anyone thought they had any chance at coming back. 

It was a good showing by Arsenal, but that has to be overshadowed by just how hopeless Reading looked. 



Santi Cazorla: A

Unless Cazorla starts playing in children's neighborhood pickup games, he isn't likely to record an easier hat trick than this one. 

He had easy looks off a soft defense, but he converted them with efficiency. He took five shots and also tallied an assist. 


Theo Walcott: A

Walcott was fantastic in this match. He scored the final goal of the contest, but that is really of little consequence to his overall performance, as he was all over the place. 

He wound up taking seven shots, and while he didn't have an assist, he was creating plenty of the action with his passing. 


Adam Federici: D

I do not envy Federici. He faced a constant barrage of shots in this game, and he actually wound up with an impressive seven saves. Unfortunately for him, he also allowed five goals. 


Reading Fans: A 

ESPN is reporting the attendance for this match at 24,125. That is about 24,000 more than Reading deserved for this debacle. 

It didn't take long for the field to be wrapped in a haze of boos, and it should have been. Reading was that bad. 

Fans started leaving early, but that is completely understandable as it was clear very early on this was going to be a blowout. 

These fans want so badly to support this team, and the team is making that nearly impossible. The fans get an A for their perseverance.