That Arsenal fan who left on the 38th minute must be banging his head on the steering wheels of his car as he failed to be part of history – An eccentric game of two halves. The spirited Arsenal team completed, in what was, one of the greatest football comebacks ever witnessed on English soil or maybe on any soil.
Arsenal were completely battered and demotivated after going down by four goals within 40 mins. But, Theo Walcott gave them a ray of hope after finishing like a striker from the lovely through ball from Arshavin. The first half was quickly forgotten by the Gunners outfit as they came out all guns blazing and produced a magnificent display in the next 75 minutes (45+30) to make sure bored historians at the club get up and do some paperwork in the middle of the night. The second for Arsenal came from the header of the impressive Giroud, who came on and changed the complete shape of the Arsenal team, showing his intent from the word go. With 4-2, even the former Arsenal man – opposition manager knew it was ‘Game On’, and Arsenal didn’t disappoint.
In the dying minutes of the game, Arsenal got a corner. Theo Walcott was the man to deliver as Koscielny, in space, headed home to make it 3 -4 and Madejski Stadium was shocked already biting their nails in unison. The greatest comeback was on the cards, the killing of the ghost of Newcastle was a possibility. Miracle it was – Theo Walcott scored the stunning goal, which the linesman didn’t flag, but Jenkinson followed in to make it 4-4 – history was made!
In a few minutes of absolute comedy, as if the on-field madness wasn’t enough, Giroud and Coquellin threw their shirts towards the fans, thinking the game was over and a replay was to be played. As they realized their stupidity, they had to beg for their jerseys back as extra-time was to be started. Chamakh, almost off-color throughout the game, came to party this time. He started the move, with a back flick, and then a beautifully taken shot from outside the box. Many believed, at 5-4, the game was truly over. That was not to be, of course! Reading came back with a header to make it 5-5, as the managers started making notes as to who would take the penalties for their respective teams.
In the dying seconds of the extra-time, Andrei Arshavin, the diminutive Russian, who had a mixed night, made a bursting run down the left flank, one of his trademarks, and smashed it towards goal. Theo Walcott collected the pieces from a goal-mouth save, and made it 6-5 to Arsenal. His brace, technically a hattrick, was clearly the best performance for the Englishman this season. With Reading in complete shock, Chamakh had a chance to pick a brace, as he collected a ball from a defensive mistake, and splendidly lofted it over the keeper.
7-5 to The Arsenal. The greatest Gunners comeback ever!
Give Theo the new contract already!