Arsenal duo had to ask for shirts back from fans in classic moment v Reading in 2012

  • Rob Swan
Arsenal players asking for shirts back after realising they had extra-time to play was priceless

Almost 10 years have passed since was of the most remarkable cup ties in recent English football history.

Arsenal and Reading went head-to-head at the Madejski Stadium in October 2012, competing for a place in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Reading came flying out the traps and found themselves 4-0 up against Arsene Wenger’s side by the 37th minute thanks to goals from Jason Roberts, a Laurent Koscielny own goal, Mikele Leigertwood and Noel Hunt sent the home fans into dreamland.

However, Theo Walcott’s goal on the stroke of half-time gave Arsenal hope, and it was 4-4 at the end of normal time as Olivier Giroud, Koscielny (in the right net this time) and Walcott again all found the back of the net.

Walcott netted his second goal in the sixth minute of stoppage-time to complete the extraordinary comeback.

Walcott reading 2012
READING, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Theo Walcott of Arsenal scores their fourth goal during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Reading and Arsenal at Madejski Stadium on October 30, 2012 in Reading, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

And when referee Kevin Friend blew his whistle to mark the end of normal time, there were bizarre scenes as Arsenal duo Francis Coquelin and Giroud threw their shirts to the travelling supporters.

They thought Arsenal had gone through to the next round on away goals, before being informed that away goals carry no extra weight in the League Cup.

Arsenal players ask for shirts back v Reading

Both players had to sheepishly return to the supporters to ask for their shirts back.

And Arsenal’s jubilant fans were more than happy to oblige.

Watch the funny footage here:


‘Well, they say footballers aren’t the brightest lot,” former Arsenal striker Niall Quinn said in the Sky Sports studio after full-time.

Niall Quinn

Marouane Chamakh then made it 5-4 to Arsenal in extra-time before Pavel Pogrebnyak equalised with five minutes remaining.

But Walcott completed his hat-trick and Chamakh scored again to make it 7-5 to the Gunners, making this 12-goal thriller the highest-scoring match in League Cup history.

Absolute scenes.

chamakh reading 2012
READING, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Marouane Chamakh of Arsenal (R) celebrates after scoring their fifth goal during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Reading and Arsenal at Madejski Stadium on October 30, 2012 in Reading, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Arsenal searched for the fans who threw back the shirts

Per The Daily Mail, Arsenal searched for the two supporters who were forced to hand back Coquelin and Giroud’s shirts just before the start of extra-time.

Club staff were asked to study CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the fans so that they could be gifted with shirts they’d be able to keep.


Giroud: Why I threw my shirt into the crowd

“I thought in the cup competitions in England when you draw you then replay. That’s why I threw my shirt into the crowd,” Giroud explained at the time.

“I had no idea and I only realised when one of our subs ran over to tell me.

“Luckily the man gave me back my shirt so I could carry on. I have to thank him.

“At the end I threw my shirt back into the fans again.”


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