31st of October 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Theo Walcott scored a brilliant hat-trick as Arsenal produced one of the great comebacks in the history of football to take their place in the last eight of the League Cup. Arsenal had a terrible start to the game as Jason Roberts, a Laurent Koscielny own goal, Mikele Leigertwood and Noel Hunt put Reading 4-0 up after just 35 minutes. Then Theo Walcott stepped up and found the net before the break and in injury time, while Olivier Giroud and Koscielny also bagged goals for the Gunners. Marouane Chamakh scored in extra-time before Pavel Pogrebnyak made it all square again, but Walcott and Chamakh scored the final two goals of an unforgettable match.
Reading were absolutely magnificent for 44 and a half minutes before Walcott scored his first goal to pull Arsenal back into the game. Arsene Wenger's men produced an unbelievable comeback and managed to recover from three goals down for the first time in their history and take their place in the quarter-finals for the 10th consecutive season.
Reading started the scoring spree in the 11th minute when Hunt set up Hal Robson-Kanu on the left flank and his precise low cross was pushed into the net by Roberts. Reading scored again just six minutes later as Chris Gunter's low was deflected by Koscielny past goalkeeper Damian Martinez. Things got even more serious for the Gunners when Leigertwood fired in from the edge of the penalty area and then, 15 minutes later, Hunt headed home on a Garath McCleary's right-wing cross. Theo Walcott reduced the deficit for Arsenal moments before half time as he cleverly chipped the Reading goalkeeper after receiving a through ball from Andrey Arshavin.
Walcott was by far the most active Arsenal player and it was no surprise when he contributed to the second goal as his cross was headed home by Giroud. Then Reading held their ground until a minute from time when another Walcott corner kick was headed in the back of the net by Koscielny. And then, five minutes into stoppage time, Walcott scored his second of the game and pushed the drama into extra time.
Arsenal were full of confidence at that point and Chamakh put them ahead in extra time but Pogrebnyak levelled the score once again minutes later. It was not over yet though as Walcott completed his hat-trick before Chamakh finally settled the score with a splendid lob. Reading are the first ever team in the either the League Cup or FA Cup to score five goals and lose the game.
Arsenal's next game is on Saturday and it should be a cracking one, away at Manchester United. Last time they visited Old Trafford, the Gunners were beaten 8-2, so they will surely want to get revenge. Here are the odds for the match from Bet365:
Man Utd to win - 8/13
Draw - 3/1
Arsenal to win - 9/2
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