So Arsenal reserves came to impress Arsene Wenger, but the Championship side Reading had a little flurry at the start. In fact they had 75% possession in the first 15 minutes! Slowly but surely the Gunners took control but the pace was a little pedestrian but the passing was mostly accurate.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Iwobi looked to be trying hard, although the Ox had a few wild shots and an incredibly bad cross from a free kick at one point. But he kept on tryin, and although Reading came close a couple of times with deflections, Alex finally put us ahead with a well-placed shot after 33 minutes.
So we went into half time with a narrow lead, and we were narrowly the better side, but with all our missed opportunities I would hardly say we had been dominant, although I’d say that Iwobi performed the best…
The Gunners flew out of the box in the second half with Lucas, mostly, and the Ox getting in amongst it, but not quite getting the final useful touch, and why on Earth is the Ox taking all the corners (badly!). Also the first 15 minutes has seen our captain on the night, Kieran Gibbs, giving the ball to Reading more often than his team-mates, even nearly gifting them a free shot on goal…
There was one funny moment when Jenkinson went down like he had been shot, but when the ref didn’t stop the game Jenks sprinted back to his goal and cut off a cross in the six yard box. Two minutes later Martinez made a classy save from the first Reading sub, Yann Kermorgant, who had replaced Callum Harriott.
This seemed to give the away team a burst of confidence and they started attacking Martinez’s goal but to no avail. This persuaded Wenger to put Giroud on to replace Jeff for the last 25 minutes. The longer Olivier doesn’t start, the longer his beard gets! The news came through that Spurs had gone 2-0 down at Liverpool was worth a cheer at least.
Arsenal nearly got their second themselves with the ball bouncing around in the Reading goal after a great save from a Giroud header, but the Royals managed somehow to keep it out. Lucas Perez was then replaced by Willock thanks to a dodgy foul, and straight afterwards Al-Habsi produced another fine save from Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It looked like Reading were tiring and Arsenal started to assert their superiority, and sure enough, after a tricky run by Giroud down the wing, the Ox scored again with a nice deflection when the ball finally came out of the box. Arsenal finally got the cushion they deserved.
With 10 minutes to go, Oxlade-Chamberlain was given a cheer hen he was replaced by the young Zelalem. The game petered out a bit after that as Arsenal seemed to sit back and be happy with the score,but there was still time for Martinez to pull off another good save from a Reading free kick just outside the box.
Going into three minutes added time, Elneny had a wild shot well over the bar, and Giroud seemed keen to nick one, but it is all over, and it is a fair result for the Arsenal reserves….