Just like all the previous meetings between these teams, Arsenal won against Reading.
This is now 14 straight wins for the Gunners, making us wish we played them every week! This match was a lot less entertaining when compared to the famous 5-7 cup tie a few seasons ago, but we got to see a few youngsters, as well as the return of injured Carl Jenkinson and Olivier Giroud. Sadly, Lucas Perez limped off the pitch and straight to the dressing room injured after a bad tackle from a Reading player.
Here’s how everyone played.
Emi Martinez – 7
Our young goalkeeper had his 2nd start this season and performed really well. Yes, sure, he wasn’t too busy, but he saved anything that came close to the goal. His free kick save in the dying minutes of second half was especially good.
Carl Jenkinson – 7
It was great to see Jenks back! He got to play whole 90 minutes after being out injured for few months, and he did really well. He even almost scored in the first half, but it was saved by Reading’s MOTM Al Habsi. Good performance both in defense and in attack.
Gabriel – 6.5
Not a very busy match for whole Arsenal defense. Gabriel did well, but I give him half a point less than the others because he fouled a Reading player, which resulted in a free kick outside the box at the end of the 2nd half, which then forced a good save from Martinez. Good otherwise. Still wouldn’t have him near first team, I just don’t feel safe with him in defense, sigh.
Rob Holding – 7
Good performance, very strong defensively, and very involved in Arsenal’s 2nd goal of the night. I loved this tweet, sums Rob Holding pretty well – not just tonight.
Rob Holding is everything the English media wish John Stones was.
— Bubemi. (@Mathaeus__) October 25, 2016
Kieran Gibbs – 6.5
I’m always full of praise for Gibbo, and he did pretty good tonight, but, when everyone else has done well too, I have to be picky. He was caught a few times and lost the ball and had to chase the opponent, and he didn’t do much in attack.
Mohamed Elneny – 7.5
Very good performance by Elneny tonight, much better than against Middlesbrough over the weekend. Worked well to break their (not very good) attacks, and created some half chances up front, even had a shot or two on goal. Very energetic for the whole match.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 7.5
A very good performance by young Ainsley, very good when going forward and creating chances, always involved in attacks. Not much to do defensively but he was there when he needed to be as well.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide – 7
Yet another good youngster tonight, with some wonderful link-up play with all of his teammates. I often forget how young he really is, and could see him get some first team minutes. He looks good both with ball and without it.
Alex Iwobi – 7
Iwobi had the most first team experience so far this season from whole starting XI tonight and yet he didn’t do that much better than the rest. He looked really good up front, with a few chances saved by a great goal keeper. I wish he reacted better for that one chance he had in second half (although Ox perhaps could have passed it before!).
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8
Ox being Ox again – scored both of our goals, and managed to p*** us all off at the same time! He has been our best player obviously, that first goal was awesome, but ugh, he could have done so much more. Strange to be complaining about the MOTM, but I can’t help it. These were his 4th and 5th goals for Arsenal this season, more than any other season before, and it’s only October. Excited to see if his good form will continue.
Lucas Perez – 7
A really good performance from our Spanish striker. He looked much better in first half, in my opinion, where he probably should have scored that time when he rather passed to Jeff than shoot himself. Shame he got off injured after a bad tackle that wasn’t even punished with a card. It would be interesting to see how he looks a bit wider.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5
Giroud is back! He got his 30 minutes today after being out injured for a few weeks, which was great to see. He almost scored a header and was generally very involved in attacks.
Chris Willock, Gedion Zelalem – 5
Both of these youngsters came on and didn’t make much of an impact as they rarely even got the ball.