EFL Cup 2016/17: Arsenal 2-0 Reading - 5 talking points
A costly error from the Reading defense allowed Chamberlain to get in behind and wallop the ball into the bottom corner to give Arsenal the lead in the first half. The 23-year-old grabbed his second of the night with the help of a deflection in the 78th minute but was denied a hat-trick as he was substituted soon after the goal.
The away side did not offer much in the form of attack and Arsene Wenger will be pleased with the final result.
Here are 5 talking points from the game:
#1 Arsenal’s clean sheet affinity continues
The Gunners claimed their 7th clean sheet in their last 8 games in all competitions. Arsene Wenger's were untroubled for the most part and had the Reading attackers under control for most of the game. The only real save Martinez had to make came at about the hour mark when Kermorgant’s header was heading towards the goal but the 24-year-old was alert and kept it out with relative ease.
The stand-in keeper was called into action in the dying stages of the game as well when he made a smart double save to keep Reading at bay.
Be it Cech, Ospina or Martinez, Arsenal fans would be pleased by the performance of their keepers. Petr Cech was outstanding against Middlesbrough when he pulled off some marvellous saves. Ospina was similarly brilliant in the Gunners’ Champions League ties against PSG, Basel, and Ludogorets and now it was Martinez’s turn to show off some of his skills between the sticks.
The defense, too, was pretty solid in the absence of Koscielny and Mustafi. Rob Holding and Gabriel did have a couple of nervy moments but were pretty comfortable for most of the game. The Gunners have now just conceded 2 goals in their last 8 matches and Arsene Wenger seems to have sorted out the defensive end of things for now.