miércoles, 31 de octubre de 2012

Arsenal stars stunned by epic League Cup fightback - NDTV

London: Arsenal star Andrey Arshavin insists he always felt his side could produce one of the greatest escape acts in the club's history as the Gunners fought back from four goals down to beat Reading 7-5.

Arsene Wenger's team moved into the League Cup quarter-finals in astonishing fashion and Russia winger Arshavin played a key role in the fightback with three assists.

Arshavin has been a bit-part player this season, but he seized his chance to shine as Wenger sent out a reserve side to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday.

But for a long while it looked as though the tie would be remembered only as another disappointment for Arsenal in a spluttering season.

Arshavin himself remained convinced Arsenal, who eventually forced extra-time with a stoppage-time equaliser, would get back into the match even when they fell 4-0 down within 37 minutes.

"I did not think about when we had to equalise, I just felt that if we had the chance and God will help us, we will make a draw!" Arshavin told Arsenal Player.

"He helped us and that's why we scored in the last minute. I have lost twice 7-1, once I lost 8-3 and once I won 9-3 and now 7-5.

"But this game was one I will remember always because it was from 4-0 down."

Arshavin, who played the full mad-cap 120 minutes, saluted his team-mates for refusing to give in when no-one else expected a comeback.

"I don't think anyone here believed that we could come back. But we did it and we deserved to win," he added.

"We showed spirit because you cannot come back from 4-0 down if you don't have spirit."

Arsenal's revival was also inspired by France striker Olivier Giroud, who came off the bench to score the second goal and give the Gunners renewed hope.

Giroud helped Montpellier win the French league title last season but he admits he had never experienced anything like the Reading match in his career.

"It's the first time in my career I've played in a game like that," Giroud said.

"To be losing 4-0, we were in a very difficult position. I tried to do what I could for the team when I came on."

Such was the chaos at the Madejski that Giroud and Francis Coquelin hurled their shirts into the crowd in jubilation after Arsenal forced extra-time because they mistakenly believed the match would go to a replay.

"I thought that in cup games when you drew, there was a replay. Someone told me that!" Giroud said.

"Luckily, I was able to get the shirt back OK - the fan gave it back to me quickly so I could start the game again.

"But after the game, I threw the shirt back into the crowd again after that."

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