By Tony Attwood
Having celebrated the record breaking of Mr Wenger and of the club in terms of reaching the most FA Cup semi-finals, and noted that alongside Man U we are the top performers in the Cup (we’ve each won 11 and been runners’ up seven times), I thought I’d move on to this season…
Here first are the journeys to the FA Cup semi-final, and after that a look at how Reading are doing in this league of late.
- Reading beat Huddersfield of the Championship away 1-0
- Arsenal beat Hull of the Premier League at home 2-0
- Reading beat Cardiff of the Championship away 2-1
- Arsenal beat Brighton and Hove Albion of the Championship away 3-2
- Reading beat Derby of the Championship away 2-1
- Arsenal beat Middlesbrough of the Championship at home 2-0
- Reading beat Bradford City of League One at home 3-0 after a 0-0 draw
- Arsenal beat Man U of the Premier League away 2-1
The most notable fact from that list of games is that Arsenal are the first Premier League side that Reading have faced in reaching the FA Cup semi-final. They’ve played three Championship sides and a League One side.
Arsenal have beaten two Premier League sides (last season’s finalists Hull and Man U) and two Championship sides.
We know how Arsenal are doing in the league, and their current run of form, but what about Reading? Here’s the league table…
Using the measure we’ve used a few times on this site to look at certain teams in the Premier League, Reading are much nearer relegation than promotion. Their goal scoring is interesting at 44 goals scored, 63 goals against. This compares with Arsenal’s 63 scored and 32 against – a reversal in fact.
Recent games (in reverse order)
- 11 April: Reading 0 Blackburn 0
- 7 April Blackpool 1 Reading 1
- 4 April: Reading 1 Cardiff 1
- 21 March: Charlton 3 Reading 2
- 16 March: Reading 3 Bradford 0 (FA Cup)
- 14 March: Watford 4 Reading 1.
- 10 March: Reading 2 Brighton 1
- 7 March: Bradford City 0 Reading 0 (FA Cup)
- 3 March: Bolton 1 Reading 1
- 28 February: Reading 0 Nottingham F 3
- 24 February: Huddersfield 3 Reading 0
- 21 February: Ipswich 0 Reading 1
- 17 February: Reading 0 Wigan 1
- 14 February: Derby 1 Reading 2 (FA Cup)
What stands out here is just how Reading have turned it on for the FA Cup, most particularly with the away win over Derby who have spent much of the season challenging for promotion.
This suggests we should not take their league table position as a sign of their merit on the day.
14 games are recorded above for Reading in which they have scored 14 goals, and conceded 19. Arsenal’s last 14 games show 31 goals scored, and 11 conceded.
So some solid marking and playing our normal game out to be enough to see us through.
Incidentally we have lost two of those 14 (which include all competitions, so include the two games against Monaco) but won the other 12.
To finish this meander up, the www.royals.org web site very helpfully contains a list of games between the clubs including some that I haven’t got listed – so thanks to them for all their research. I’ve made a couple of minor changes where our research differs from theirs.
|14 Sep 1898||Reading||United League||Woolwich Arsenal||D: 1-1|
|03 Oct 1898||Plumstead||United League||Woolwich Arsenal||W: 2-0|
|27 Sep 1899||Reading||Southern District Combination||Woolwich Arsenal||W: 3-0|
|26 Mar 1900||Plumstead||Southern District Combination||Woolwich Arsenal||D: 1-1|
|18 Jan 1904||WHL||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||W: 3-1|
|30 Apr 1906||Fulham||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||W: 1-0|
|23 Sep 1907||Plumstead||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||L: 0-1|
|16 Feb 1935||Reading||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||W: 1-0|
|04 Jan 1941||Reading||London War Cup||Arsenal||L: 0-2|
|11 Jan 1941||WHL||London War Cup||Arsenal||L: 0-1|
|29 Nov 1941||WHL||London League||Arsenal||W: 3-1|
|07 Mar 1942||Reading||London League||Arsenal||W: 4-1|
|24 Oct 1942||WHL||Football League South||Arsenal||W: 4-1|
|30 Jan 1943||Reading||Football League South||Arsenal||W: 5-4|
|04 Mar 1944||WHL||League Cup South||Arsenal||L: 2-3|
|25 Mar 1944||Reading||League Cup South||Arsenal||L: 1-5|
|04 Nov 1944||Reading||Football League South||Arsenal||L: 1-3|
|03 Feb 1945||Reading||League Cup South||Arsenal||W: 1-3|
|24 Feb 1945||WHL||League Cup South||Arsenal||W: 3-0|
|31 Mar 1945||WHL||Football League South||Arsenal||L: 0-2|
|03 Apr 1957||Reading||Southern Professional Floodlit Cup||Arsenal||L: 1-2|
|11 Oct 1967||Arsenal||League Cup||Arsenal||W: 1-0|
|05 Feb 1972||Reading||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||W: 2-1|
|02 Oct 1974||Reading||Friendly||Arsenal||W: 2-0|
|10 Jan 1987||Reading||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||W: 3-1|
|29 Nov 2005||Arsenal||League Cup||Arsenal||W: 3-0|
|22 Oct 2006||Reading||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 4-0|
|03 Mar 2007||Arsenal||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 2-1|
|12 Nov 2007||Reading||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 3-1|
|19 Apr 2008||Arsenal||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 2-0|
|30 Oct 2012||Reading||League Cup||Arsenal||W: 7-5|
|17 Dec 2012||Reading||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 5-2|
|30 Mar 2013||Arsenal||FA Premier League||Arsenal||W: 4-1|
So they last beat us in 1957 – it has been Arsenal all the way ever since.
The Arsenal History Society has separate articles on three first team competitions that Arsenal played in, outside the Football League.
- The United League and the Southern District Combination
- Southern Professional Floodlit Cup
- The Southern Professional Charity Cup
Arsenal’s home matches during the second world war were played at White Hart Lane as Highbury was first an ARP centre, and then it was bombed in 1941. In my reply to correspondence to the last post I did point out that one has to be fairly cautious with wartime games as quite often sides used guest players to make up the numbers.