The Independent London Newspaper
22nd September 2018

Oxlade-Chamberlain wins praise from Wenger as he stars in routine cup win over Reading

    Published: October 25, 2016
    By TOM FOOT at the EMIRATES STADIUM

    EFL Cup
    Arsenal 2, Reading 0

    ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger claimed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is "following Walcott" into a purple patch of form after the midfielder notched a brace against Reading this evening (Tuesday).

    Arsenal ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against the Championship outfit in the EFL Cup.

    Wenger immediately praised the 23-year-old after the match as "sharper and more determined", adding: "He is more focused and that comes out in every game and in training. He's not a young player anymore - he's now 23. Sometimes, before, it felt like he acted like he didn't deserve to score when he shot. He has worked on his finishing, abd he is of course powerful. And now he is following Walcott. They are lifting each other and he's not long from the first eleven."

    Oxlade-Chamberlain brushed through the Reading back line and hit low and true into the bottom corner on 33 minutes. He had been Arsenal's best player and deserved the goal.

    The Ox made it 2-0 on 78 minutes with a powerful but significantly deflected strike to take the Gunners over the line.

    It was a disappointing night, however, for Lucas Perez,who showed little enterprise in attack and lost possession with some poor touches, before limping off with 15 minutes to go. 

    There was a big cheer for Olivier Giroud when he replaced the lively but ineffective Heff Reine-Adelaide and the former first team striker almost scored with a header.

    Reading had chances of their own and Emiliano Martinez, Arsenal's third keeper, was forced into a sprawling diving save in the final minutes. 

    It's eight clean sheets from the last nine matches for Wenger's in-form side in all competitions.

    He concluded: "It was a dynamic game between two passing teams."

     
    ARSENAL: Martinez, Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Zelalem 80) El-Neny, Iwobi, Perez (Willock 72) Reine-Adelaide (Giroud 66), Maitland-Niles. 
    Subs not used: Bielek, Bola, Macey, Sheaf.
    Tickets sold: 59865

     

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