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

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Gervinho of Arsenal (27) celebrates with Bacary Sagna as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Reading at Emirates Stadium on March 30, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Arsenal picked up a strong win over Reading in EPL play.

The Gunners came out and established dominance right away. They consistently had possession, and the match was played in Reading territory for much of the first half. Crisp passing and some flashy play from Gervinho allowed Arsenal to produce plenty of shots on goal in the early going.

It was at the 13' mark that the Arsenal star would finally put the Gunners on the board.

That would serve as Arsenal's lone goal in the first half, but it wasn't an indication of just how dominant the Gunners were. They were in control of every facet of the game. 

Arsenal came out ready to continue the dominance in the second half. Thanks to some smooth passing the Gunners once again produced a shot on goal, and Gervinho notched an assist as Santi Cazorla became the club's leading goalscorer in Premier League play.

Arsenal wouldn't stop there. The Gunners scored a brilliant counterattack goal at the 67' mark to pull ahead 3-0 courtesy of Olivier Giroud. 

Just three minutes later, Reading would strike to keep Arsenal from scoring the shutout. Thanks to a lapse in concentration by defender Nacho Monreal, Hal Robson-Kanu was able to get a goal back. 

It wouldn't matter, as Arsenal went right back to dominating possession once again and scoring their final goal from Mikel Arteta on a penalty kick at the 79' mark.

Ultimately, it was an impressive performance from the Gunners. They were clearly the more talented side and took care of business like a favorite should. 



Gervinho: A

He was the man of the match for the Gunners. 

He got off to a great start scoring the first goal and dished out two assists. He came off the field to a huge round of applause from the Arsenal faithful, and he deserved it. 

Gervinho receives his fair share of criticism for questionable play. Today he played like a superstar and deserves the praise. If he can continue this kind of play, he'll make Arsenal all the more dangerous.


Santi Cazorla: A

 Gervinho was brilliant, but Cazorla was on par with his own offensive output.

Cazorla put in the team's second goal, became the team leader in goals and dished the assist to Gervinho on the first goal of the game.

The Gunners were a dominant force on offense today and Cazorla was a primary reason. He shined as one of the biggest stars of the day.


Lukasz Fabianski: C

He didn't have a horrible game, but giving up a goal was definitely not ideal. 

Reading hardly ever mounted an attack, and this should have been a clean sheet. It didn't hurt the team in the long run, but if he wants a big contract extension in the offseason then he needs to prove that he can be elite. 

When you keep the opposition away from the goal like Arsenal did today, there's no excuse to give up a goal. It was a lack of concentration by the Arsenal defense, and Fabianski tarnished what would have otherwise been a great match.