Quality of Attack
The quality of the Reading attack in the first-half was superb. Reading cantered into a 4-0 lead with goals coming quickly after each other. Reading should feel confident that they can produce similar attacking displays in the league against good teams and the teams that are fighting against them down near the foot of the table. This quality of attack will win more points than it loses.
The fact Arsenal were allowed to put a comeback together is shocking. Manager Brian McDermott described his side as playing kamikaze football after the final whistle went. He, and the side, now have a chance to look at the tactics from the first half which worked so well, they can see the precise areas where things went wrong and they can work on them to get out of the bottom three in the Premier League.
The fitness of some of the Reading players was superb while it looked like others were hanging on. Reading can take positives in terms of their fitness because for 95 and a half minutes they managed to keep their lead. The players who were struggling now have a chance to go back to the gym and the training ground and put in some more work which will help with tight Premier League games towards the end of the season.
Never Give Up
Arsenal showed that any side playing against a top quality team can never stop playing and never give up. Reading could well have thought that they had done the job when they went 4-0 up and there was a little bit of complacency despite Theo Walcott pulling a goal back before half-time. Don’t be surprised to see Reading keeping their foot on the throttle the next time they go two or three nil up in a league or FA Cup game.
Reading showed a lot of heart to keep on going after Arsenal pulled the equaliser back in normal time and then went ahead in extra time. A lot of other teams would have allowed their heads to drop but Reading kept fighting, as they should have done throughout the full 90 minutes. They managed to get the equaliser to 5-5 in extra time but Arsenal just had the edge in terms of speed and fitness which ultimately made the difference.
image: © crystian cruz