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Cazorla hat-trick powers five-star Gunners

Santi brings some early Christmas joy to the singing Arsenal faithful

By | 17th December 2012
santi cazorla

Santi Cazorla scored his first hat-trick in Arsenal colors on a night when his side thrashed Reading 5-2 at the Madejski Stadium.

Lukas Podolski added a goal and two assists, while Theo Walcott also found the net in the Gunners’ emphatic win over a hapless Royals team that dreamed of a comeback after scoring two quick seconf half goals in succession.

There is never a good time to give the opposition too much space on the ball but Reading chose a particularly bad night to do so, when a clinical Arsenal side was on their turf.

Kieran Gibbs was given plenty of room to work with throughout the first half and he made it count by setting up Podolski’s opening goal in the 14th minute.

Cazorla quickly doubled the visitors’ advantage from a close range header as he successfully arrived at the end of a poorly defender cross from Podolski.

The Spaniard, who received severe criticism for his alleged diving against West Bromwich Albion in Arsenal’s last Premier League outing, scored the match’s third goal from close range again as Reading’s defense fumbled to clear the ball inside the box.

Thanks to goalkeeper Adam Federici, who made a plethora of saves, Brian McDermott’s men were only three down at the interval.

Although the deficit quickly became four when Cazorla once again finished a Podolski cross for his hat-trick, Reading were quick to halt Arsenal’s celebrations with two quick goals.

Adam LeFondre and Jimmy Kebe, who had been disappointing in his defense, both found the net to bring the hosts within striking distance with 20 minutes to go.

However, Walcott soon extinguished any hopes by latching brilliantly on to a Cazorla pass and smashing clinically past Federici for the Gunners’ fifth goal of the evening.

By the end of the night, Arsenal ensured that they finish their work at the Madejski Stadium for the year with 12 goals in two matches. Arsene Wenger’s men previously hammered seven past Reading in a League Cup match in October.

Their emphatic win also marked the second time they have claimed a 5-2 victory in the last 30 days, as they dished out the same treatment to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur on November 17.

Tonight’s win elevates them to fifth position, within two points of the fourth place Spurs and the third place Chelsea.

Reading, on the other hand, remain below QPR at the very bottom of the Premier League standings, with a daunting fight against relegation awaiting in the weeks ahead.

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