Arsenal got another three points under their belt with a 4-1 win over Reading at the Emirates this afternoon.
Arsene Wenger handed starts to Tomas Rosicky and Gervinho, with Aaron Ramsey in midfield, while Lukas Fabianski and Laurent Koscielny kept their places after the wins against Bayern and Swansea.
The visitors started brightly, winning an early corner and heading wide, before Olivier Giroud got a header on a Ramsey ball but sent it straight at Stuart Taylor in the Reading goal. In the 7th minute applause rang out in memory of David Rocastle who died in 2001, and his picture was displayed on the big screen.
A few moments later Arsenal were ahead. Gervinho made a run, played it into Giroud who lost it, it came to Cazorla who took a left footed shot, dragged it across goal and Gervinho stepped in to poke it home from close range. 1-0 (GIF).
Arsenal probed and caused Reading problems, Santi Cazorla popping up all over the pitch and the Spaniard was almost put through by a Reading player trying a silly backflick just outside his own area. Gervinho then headed wide from a Sagna cross, before Olivier Giroud should have been awarded a penalty.
Arsenal played a long ball into the box, Taylor came out, Giroud flicked it over him and the keeper absolutely flattened him. Somehow referee Chris Foy didn’t give it.
In the 21st minute Gervinho went on a fantastic run, all the way from his own half all the way through to the edge of the Reading box but dragged his shot wide, and the Ivorian was lively causing Reading problems with his running, if not his shooting.
Aaron Ramsey then got on the end of an excellent move between Cazorla and Rosicky, his shot was on target from a tight angle, but Reading got bodies in the way to snuff out the danger. Gervinho got involved again, running directly at Reading, the ball came back to him, his shot was blocked, came then to Cazorla who left Stuart Taylor rooted to the spot but his shot went just wide of the post.
Giroud and Cazorla were combining well in and around the area, both had chances but Reading defended resolutely, throwing themselves in the way. Gervinho showed quick feet in the Reading box but fired his shot over the bar, before Chris Foy again angered the Arsenal players by waving play-on when Cazorla was upended on the edge of the Reading box. Arsenal went in 1-0 up at half-time.
The second half began well for the Gunners as they extended their lead in the 47th minute. Arsenal moved the ball across the pitch, Cazorla played it to Gervinho in the box, the Ivorian gave it back and the Spaniard curled a shot just inside the post. 2-0 (GIF).
It might have been three just moments later when an Aaron Ramsey shot deflected just wide. Alex Pearce got a shot away for Reading on the hour mark but it was easy for Fabianski. At the other end Gervinho saw a header loop just wide before he set p Olivier Giroud for Arsenal’s third.
Arsenal broke from a corner, Gervinho took it on, waited for support, played it to Giroud and the Frenchman lashed it home with his left foot to make it 3-0.
Reading then pulled one straight back, Robson-Kanu heading home from close range after a cross from the right. Monreal was injured in the process, his knee collided with the post and he was replaced by Gibbs. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski then came on for Gervinho and Giroud, and the young Englishman had an immediate impact winning a penalty. Mikel Arteta stepped, made no mistake and made it 4-1 to Arsenal.
The Gunners were toying with their opponents, Ramsey forcing Taylor into a good save, and a beautiful passing move ended with Cazorla chipping a ball over the top which Rosicky should have done better with.
In the end Reading knew it was was game over, and a job well done for Arsenal. Three lovely points.