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Reading 2-5 Arsenal

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Cazorla: Hat-trick hero

Cazorla: Hat-trick hero

Santi Cazorla hit a hat-trick as Arsenal romped to a comprehensive win over rock-bottom Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Monday night.

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The Gunners were looking to bounce back from their Capital One Cup exit to League Two Bradford City and they started in impressive fashion as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tested the Royals keeper in the first minute.

Arsenal broke the deadlock on 14 minutes through Lukas Podolski, who was given too much time in the area to control a Keiran Gibbs cross and bury the ball into the net.

Theo Walcott missed a golden chance on 21 minutes when he wasted a one-on-one opportunity - Adam Federici staying big to stop the forward - but Arsenal romped away just after the half hour.

Cazorla got his first on 32 minutes when he headed home a Podolski cross, before the Spaniard scored again only three minutes later when he was given time to turn and shoot from inside the area.

Reading were second-best for long periods and Cazorla secured his hat-trick on the hour when he ended a flowing Arsenal move that involved Jack Wilshere and the impressive Podolski.

The hosts threatened an almighty comeback when they scored two in five minutes. First substitute Adam Le Fondre capitalised on a mistake to level before Jimmy Kebe scored from close range on 66 minutes.

However, any hopes of a miraculous escape ended on 80 minutes when Walcott took a pass from Cazorla to slot home inside the area as the Gunners got the points to rise to fifth in the Premier League.

Posted: 17/12/12 22:07

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