Whatever it was they were doing in Reading, Arsenal won it
That was one writer’s reaction to what happened at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, England, where the Capital One Cup contest between the Royals and visiting Arsenal just ended. The final score was 7-5, Arsenal - the most goals in a league cup match since 1996 (thanks @InfostradaLive).
And the scoreline doesn’t come anywhere close to describing how epic this match was.
Starting with an opener from Jason Roberts in the 12th, Reading rattled off four goals in 25 minutes, building a huge lead thanks to Mikele Leigertwood, Noel Hunt, and an own goal credited to Laurent Koscielny. Theo Walcott pulled one back during first half stoppage time, but holy crap - four goals against Arsenal in a half? The Gunners have allowed only six in nine Premier League matches this season.
Past the hour mark, it looked like Reading would be fine. Even after substitute Olivier Giroud cut the lead to two in the 64th minute, there was little reason to worry. Arsenal was as frantic as any desperate team would be, but minutes before full time, the score remained 4-2.
Then Koscielny scored in the 89th minute - into the correct goal, this time. It was 4-3, and when stoppage time rolled around, there was Walcott again. With a goal that could have only been scored with the permission of Alex Ferguson himself, Walcott equalized in the 96th minute, sending the match to extra time tied at four.
Just before the first break, forgotten striker Marouane Chamakh put Arsenal in front only to see Pavel Progrebnyak pull that back five minutes from time. At the 115-minute-mark, it was 5-5.
But then stoppage time happened, again. And there was Theo Walcott, again. His third goal of the night (each coming after the fourth official had raised his sign) put Arsenal in front 6-5 in the 121st minute. When Chamakh added another two minutes later, the Gunners had their winning margin.
As Okwonga notes, the turns, expectations and denials of this match were trolling of the highest order, particularly from Walcott. One amazing, unforgettable troll.