Live: Arsenal 4 Reading 1

Thanks for joining me this afternoon and for all your comments - sorry I couldn't publish them all. Do stick around for match reports and reaction.

A comfortable victory for Arsenal to give their top four hopes a real boost. Reading boss Nigel Adkins has a real fight on his hands if he is to keep the Royals up.

90+3
Arsenal 4 Reading 1

90+1
Reading clear, but Arsenal regain posssession on the halfway line.

90
Another lovely cross by Cazorla is headed over his own bar by Shorey, corner to Arsenal.

87
The game has slowed right down now, it just seems a case of playing out time. The match was gone for Reading a long time ago.

83
More lovely stuff as Cazorla's lofted ball finds Rosicky in the area. All he needs to do is slot home, but instead he tries to pass to a team-mate, allowing Reading to clear.

80
Change for Reading: Garath McCleary is on for Robson-Kanu.

80
Arsenal really turning it on now, some lovely passing on the edge of the box before Arteta is flagged offside.

77
Goal for Arsenal!! Arteta sends Taylor the wrong way!!

77
Penalty to Arsenal!! Oxlade-Chamberlain tripped in the area by Mariappa!!

75
Sub for Reading: Hope Akpan is on for Jem Karacan.

75
Changes for Arsenal: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski replace Gervinho and Olivier Giroud.

71
Sub for Arsenal: Kieran Gibbs is on for Monreal, who clattered with the post trying to stop Robson-Kanu from nodding home Reading's goal.

69
Is the comeback on? McAnuff curls in an inviting cross from the left, allowing Robson-Kanu to convert at the far post with a diving header.

69
Goal for Reading!! Robson-Kanu!!

67
Reading make a mess of a corner and the ball breaks to Gervinho, who sprints half the length of the pitch before laying it off to Giroud to drill home low beyond Taylor.

67
Goal for Arsenal!! Giroud!!!

65
Reading scramble the corner clear. In other news, the snow has stopped.

64
It's sunny at the Emirates, but it has also started snowing. It is nearly April right? Back on the pitch Arsenal win yet another corner...

62
Another patient Arsenal move, Sagna crosses in, but Gervinho's header loops wide of the post.

61
Sub for Reading: Pogrebnyak is replaced by Noel Hunt.

60
From the resulting corner Pearce fires in a volley straight into the palms of Fabianski.

59
Maybe a spoke too soon? Pogrebnyak evading the offside trap only for Koscielny to get in a timely tackle.

56
It's hard to see Reading getting back into this game, it already seems like they are in damage limitation mode.

@George_Douglas7 tweets: "I'm predicting it to be 3-1 to Arsenal at full time"

52
Robson-Kanu, Reading's best player, skips down the right flank once more, but his cross evades everyone in the area and it goes out for a goal kick. Better from the Royals though.

50
It's nearly three as Cazorla's teasing cross from the right just evades Gervinho and Per Mertesacker.

48
Whatever Nigel Adkins said at half time goes out of the window now. Reading fail to close Arsenal down allowing Gervinho to lay it off to Cazorla, who coolly strokes the ball into the corner, all too easy.

Goal for Arsenal!! Cazorla!!

@furqana98 Tweets: "Arsenal the dominant team, I say bring Podolski on and we can score another two."

46
Arsenal get the half underway.

The two teams are back on the field for the second half.

Anthony Jarrett from Lagos, Nigeria, says: "Arsenal have a knack for complacency. If they play like they played first half, they will win by two goals."

Paula from NC says: "Same old story! Dominant, but few goals. So we continue to bite our nails! Get Podolski in there to bash 'em in."

Eoghan Mcmanus says: "We love Gervinho in Ireland! He is more popular than the Pope!"

"Can Reading salvage anything today? They are 8/1 for a draw and 33/1 to record a surprise win."

What are your thoughts on the second half? Email me Tom.Mallows@bskyb.com or send me a Tweet @Tom_Mallows.

Arsenal have been utterly, utterly dominant here, they should be two, maybe even three goals up. The fact they are not is something for Reading boss Nigel Adkins to build on. A decent start to the second half and they will be right back in it.

46
Arsenal 1-0 Reading

43
Cazorla is upended on the edge of the box but the referee plays advantage, Monreal firing in a shot from distance that goes well wide.

42
Quick feet from Gervinho gives him space to fire in a shot, but he gets underneath it and the ball spins over the bar.

42
Reaching the break at 1-0 would be an achievement for Reading at the moment.

41
Reading are hanging on here as Arsenal pile forward again. They are perhaps guilty of trying to be too intricate though as the final pass is scrambled away for a corner.

39
Arsenal inches away from a second!! The Gunners stride forward in number again, Cazorla collects at the far post but his low shot is just wide of Taylor's left hand post.

37
Reading make a hash of a clearance allowing Cazorla to come forward, Ramsey picks it up in the area but his shot is blocked for a corner.

36
Chris Foy has a word with Mikele Leigertwood following a late challenge on Ramsey. No yellow card though.

34
Mikel Arteta's delivery is poor though and Pogrebnyak can clear at the near post.

33
Reading need to get tighter, but not that tight as they clatter Gervinho just to the right of the penalty area, free kick.

30
Danny Guthrie is booked for a foul on Rosicky midway inside the Reading half.

28
A rare break for Reading as Robson-Kanu gets free down the right. His low cross is deflected but Fabianski stretches to claim low down at the far post.

27
It is all too comfortable for Arsenal at the moment, the players are stroking the ball around at leisure.

25
Reading keep giving the ball away cheaply, on this latest occasion Gervinho gets into the area and wins a corner that Reading scramble clear - just.

22
Gervinho wins the ball near the half-way line and scampers away towards goal, but his eventual finish is poor and the ball goes well wide.

20
Giroud is ok to carry on, though replays suggest he had a case for a spot-kick.

Nyasha Simbanda says: "Gervinho is a hero for all of us from here in Zimbabwe!"

18
A lovely ball by Arteta finds the onrushing Giroud, Taylor speeds out of his goal and clatters the Frenchman, who got to the ball first. The striker stays down but the referee waves away the appeals for a penalty!

16
Good skill by Sagna down the right, his cross finds the head of Gervinho but his effort goes just wide.

15
Mikel Arteta is fouled in midfield, free-kick to the Gunners, who are well on top at the moment.

11
Perfect start for Arsenal! Olivier Giroud is robbed of the ball in the area but it falls straight to Santi Cazorla, whose cross-shot is tapped home by Gervinho!!

11
Goal for Arsenal!! Gervinho!!!

07
More applause rings round the ground for David Rocastle, with his image shown on the big screen. A sombre but respectful mood hangs over the Emirates.

Laura Hewlett says: "I'm a Villa fan sat watching the Reading Arsenal game - am really hoping Adkins isn't up to the job. (sorry!) Come on Arsenal we need you to ace it!!"

06
Reading defending very, very deep, with Pavel Pogrebnyak already looking isolated for the Royals.

05
Aaron Ramsey's teasing cross from the right takes a deflection, Olivier Giroud flicks it on, but is goes straight into the arms of Stuart Taylor.

03
Robson-Kanu tries to set Reading on the counter attack but only succeeds in dribbling the ball out of play for a Gunners throw.

01
Hal Robson-Kanu wins an early corner for Reading, Adrian Mariappa rises highest but his header drifts well wide.

01
The game is underway.....

Paula Redslob from North Carolina, USA says: "Arsene Wenger's implied threat that those who don't cut the mustard may be sold will serve to fire up the players to do their very best to get into that top four. Wenger must keep up the rhetoric."

Here come the two sides onto the pitch.

The teams are gathering in the tunnel, not long to go now.....

A nice touch as applause ripples round the Emirates Stadium in memory of former Arsenal winger David Rocastle, who died 10 years ago tomorrow at the age of just 33.

An optimistic George Bains is first to email in: "New start under Adkins, hopefully more spirit from players like McAnuff who has as much fight as a dead turtle. Nevertheless, expect a good start and a 2-1 win for reading to kick-start the great escape."

The referee this afternoon is Chris Foy (Merseyside).

If only the second half of Premier League games counted this season, Arsenal would be top of the league by four points. If games ended at half-time, they'd be 12th in the table.

The Gunners are yet to lose a Premier League game that they have taken the lead in this season (W14 D2).

No side have faced more shots at goal in the top five European Leagues this season than Reading (531).

The two meetings between Arsenal and Reading in 2012-13 already have seen 19 goals scored; with Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla each scoring hat-tricks for Arsenal over these meetings.

As we edge closer to kick-off here are some interesting stats about the two teams........

What do you think of those starting line-ups? Will Arsenal go on another late surge and claim at top four place? Is Adkins the man to save the Royals? Email me your thoughts Tom.Mallows@bskyb.com or Tweet me @Tom_Mallows. I will do my best publish your views.

New Reading manager Nigel Adkins has striker Pavel Pogrebnyak available after serving a three-match suspension, while former Arsenal trainee Stuart Taylor retains his place in goal against the club with which he won a championship medal in 2004. Fit-again 'keeper Alex McCarthy has to make do with a place on the bench.

Reading subs: McCarthy, Gunter, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary, Morrison, Akpan.

Reading: Taylor, Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey, Leigertwood, Karacan, Guthrie, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak.

Arsenal subs: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Gibbs.

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal,Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey, Gervinho, Cazorla, Giroud.

The teams are in, we will start with the Gunners....

Here is some handy info from our friends at Skybet: "Arsenal are the overwhelming favourites at 1/4 with Reading 10/1 to begin life under Nigel Adkins with a win. Santi Cazorla scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture and is 40/1 to do so again, while he is price boosted to 6/1 to open the scoring."

For Reading, it is the start of a new era, with Nigel Adkins in the dugout for the first time. This match may not have 'must-win' written next to it in his diary, but the Royals are running out of games and need to start picking up points fast.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger warned his players this week that they could be playing for their futures, with the club battling to overhaul north London rivals Spurs in the race to qualify for the Champions League - nothing less than a win is expected today.

Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute commentary of Arsenal v Reading from the Emirates Stadium.

Premier League Fixtures

Sunday, 28 December 2014
12:00
Tottenham v Man Utd  
14:05
So'ton v Chelsea  
15:00
A Villa v S'land  
Hull City v Leicester  
Man City v Burnley  
QPR v C Palace  
Stoke v W Brom  
West Ham v Arsenal  
16:15
Newcastle v Everton  
Monday, 29 December 2014
20:00
Liverpool v Swansea  
Thursday, 01 January 2015
12:45
Stoke v Man Utd  
15:00
A Villa v C Palace  

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