A brace from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was enough to get past Reading at the Emirates. The Gunners controlled the match for the most part but a couple of moments of brilliance from The Ox were enough to secure passage into the next round.
Matchday: Team News – Predicted Lineup – Betting Preview
Match: Arsenal v Reading
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Kick-Off (GMT): Tue 25 Oct 19:45
Arsenal started the first half well. The passing was crisp, the movement was incisive, it was everything expected of an Arsenal team, regardless of the players who played. Carl Jenkinson came close to a dream goal early on and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blasted the ball wide a few minutes later. It’s a shame because either strike would have given Carlamberlain something to discuss in the next Arsenal YouTube video.
Reading grew into the game during the first half. Callum Harriott and Dominic Samuel threatened the Arsenal backline with their direct runs but the deadlock was broken in the 33rd-minute through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox stole the ball back from Reading and squared off against the defender. He powered through and drilled the ball into the far corner. A fine solo goal.
The second half saw a number of missed chances for the Gunners. Olivier Giroud came close just a few minutes after he coming on when his glancing header was saved well by the impressive Ali Al-Habsi. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close to doubling his tally but could only find the goalkeeper’s palms.
However, The Ox only had to wait a couple of minutes to do just that. Rob Holding battled well to win the ball back and slide it into Olivier Giroud who laid it off for Chamberlain. The Englishman smacked the ball first time and found the back of the net via a deflection. The Gunners killed the game after that, happy with the result and their passage through to the quarter finals.
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Here’s how we’ve rated the Arsenal players:
GK) Damian Martinez – 7
A quietly impressive performance from the goalkeeper on the whole. Martinez’s distribution was fine and he did well to hold on to a Yann Kermorgant header. The striker came close again with a powerful free kick late on but Martinez was equal to the strike.
RB) Carl Jenkinson – 7
It was a very good performance from the right back on his return to the Arsenal first team. Jenkinson even came close to scoring in the first half but his shot was saved by Ali Al-Habsi. The 24-year-old pressed well, was solid in defence and good on the ball. An impressive performance.
CB) Rob Holding – 6.5
He’s had better performances. Rob Holding was decent in the tackle and on the ball but was caught out of position on a number of occasions.
CB) Gabriel Paulista – 7
A good performance from Gabriel. He was aggressive in the air and actually very impressive on the ball. The Brazilian made a number of excellent through balls which cut through the Reading midfield and set up attacks.
LB) Kieran Gibbs – 6.5
A solid performance from Kieran Gibbs. He was combative at the back and attacked well but got caught up the field on a number of occasions.
Player Ratings continue on next page, click the ‘next’ button below