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Barclays Premier League

The Madejski Stadium (ATT 24,125) 17th December 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: A Taylor

Reading Reading vs Arsenal Arsenal

Reading 2

A Le Fondre (66)
J Kebe (71)

ft

Arsenal 5

L Podolski (14)
S Cazorla (32, 34, 60)
T Walcott (80)

Sky Sports 1 HD

Arsenal proved too good for Reading with a 5-2 win at the Madejski Stadium

Last Updated: 18/12/12 8:17am

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Santi Cazorla: Inspired Arsenal win at Reading

Santi Cazorla: Inspired Arsenal win at Reading

Santi Cazorla grabbed a hat-trick as Arsenal climbed up to fifth in the Premier League with a 5-2 win at bottom-of-the-table Reading.

The Gunners bounced back from their League Cup disappointment at Bradford in emphatic style with a convincing win at the Madejski Stadium.

Arsenal went ahead early on as Lukas Podolski lashed the ball home past Adam Federici after just 14 minutes.

Spanish star Cazorla then took control as he scored two goals in two-minutes just before half-time. The former Malaga man then cemented his claim for the match-ball with his third on the hour mark.

Best of the match:

  • Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla was in supreme form, not only scoring a hat-trick but running the game from the centre of midfield.
  • Goal of the Match: Cazorla's third was Arsenal at their best. Jack Wilshere slid in Lukas Podolski who squared first time for the Spaniard, leaving Reading chasing shadows.
  • Save of the Match: Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici did not disgrace himself and his best stop was a low diving effort to keep out an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain header.
  • Gaffe of the Match: Kieran Gibbs played an errant pass across his back four, with Jay Tabb picking up the ball before playing in Adam Le Fondre for a Reading consolation.
  • Talking point: Reading are now rooted to the bottom of the table. What can they do to improve their defence before it is too late?

Reading then showed some real spirit as they battled back with two goals of their own with Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe both slotting home.

But the fairytale comeback never materialised as Theo Walcott - who started the game as a central striker - fired home Arsenal's fifth.

The result moves Arsenal up to fifth in the Premier League table while Reading remain rooted to the bottom and in danger of being cut adrift in the fight to avoid relegation.

The tone was set early as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tested Reading goalkeeper Federici early on before Jobi McAnuff squandered a good chance for the Royals at the other end.

Arsenal were ahead on 14 minutes as Podolski was afforded far too much room in the box, before Cazorla scored twice in three minutes as he capitalised on some static defending from the hosts.

Federici did well to keep out Oxlade-Chamberlain again and send the hosts in only three down, but the Australian could do nothing to prevent Cazorla completing his hat-trick by rounding off a brilliant move after the break.

Reading threatened the unlikeliest of comebacks when Le Fondre and Kebe both converted one-on-ones within the space of five minutes, but Arsenal managed to slow things down and calm the nerves.

And the rout was completed when Cazorla turned provider for Walcott, who showed a striker's composure to slot home left-footed into the bottom corner.



ReadingTeam StatisticsArsenal
2Goals5
01st Half Goals3
3Shots on Target13
2Shots off Target7
4Blocked Shots6
3Corners7
7Fouls4
5Offsides3
1Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
74.6Passing Success88
12Tackles16
66.7Tackles Success75
32.9Possession67.1
46.7Territorial Advantage53.3
339Total Passes718
17Total Crosses21
141Lost Balls140
55Recoveries55
29.41st Half Poss.70.6
34.72nd Half Poss.65.3

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
7 Arsenal 16 26
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 16 23
10 Everton 17 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
15 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
16 Sunderland 16 16
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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