News and Views
Can Semi-Final History With Arsenal Repeat
23 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?
When Reading face Arsenal at Wembley on the 18th of April in the FA Cup semi-final, bookmakers, neutrals, Arsenal fans and probably most Reading fans will be expecting only one outcome. As well as the obvious gap in class between the two teams, there is a huge gap in league places with Arsenal trying to finish the season in the top two in the Premier League and Reading struggling in 19th place in the Championship.
History is also strongly in Arsenal's favour. Everyone remembers that insane night at the Madejski Stadium back in October 2012 where we went down 5-7 in the League Cup after leading 4-0 with 37 minutes on the clock. Stoppage time saw Arsenal make it 4-4 and then score three more in extra time as Reading crumbled. Our recent history of 3 seasons in the Premier League allowed Arsenal to clock up another straight 6 victories over the Royals. Our last three games alone have seen Arsenal score 16 goals against us. 16 goals. 3 games. Definately not pretty.
In fact, Reading have lost all 11 of their last meetings with the Gunners. If Reading beat Arsenal at Wembley it will be unexpected giant killing on a similar level to Bradford City's 4-2 victory at Chelsea earlier in this season's FA Cup. You have to go all the way back to 1957 to find anything other than a defeat - but that's where the good news begins.
Not only did we avoid defeat to Arsenal on 3 April 1957, but we actually beat them. And it was in a cup semi-final. The Royals were 2-1 winners over Arsenal in the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup at Elm Park. Jimmy Wheeler scored both the goals that night in front of 9,799 fans. The Reading team that night included Maurice Evans, Douggie Webb and Tommy Dixon. Reading were then picked to play at Elm Park again against Luton Town in the final where they lost 1-2, with Wheeler scoring again in front of a crowd of 15,599.
So the history books confirm that Reading have already had cup semi-final success over Arsenal - and that's something we'll be hoping to continue at Wembley on the 18 April - 58 years since our last win over Arsenal. Reading did pick up some wins during the Second World War, but putting games during that period aside as it would be wrong to include them in a competitive record, there is just one other victory over Arsenal.
Thanks to Reading FC statistician Strap, we can confirm that the Royals beat Arsenal 1-0 on 23 September 1907 at The Manor Ground in a charity cup competition. The Southern Professional Charity Cup was a brief competition played between 1901 and 1915. The Royals were joint winners in 1904/1905 after a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the final, and were also losing finalists in the following year... against Arsenal. Our other meeting with Arsenal in that competition was also a defeat. However, that 1-0 win in 1907 is another cup victory over Arsenal to add to our semi-final win in 1957.
Reading and Arsenal - The full competitive record:
|14 Sep 1898||H||United League||Woolwich Arsenal||D: 1-1||No report|
|03 Oct 1898||A||United League||Woolwich Arsenal||L: 0-2||No report|
|27 Sep 1899||H||Southern Combination League||Woolwich Arsenal||L: 0-3||No report|
|26 Mar 1900||A||Southern Combination League||Woolwich Arsenal||D: 1-1||No report|
|18 Jan 1904||N||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||L: 1-3||No report|
|30 Apr 1906||N||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||L: 0-1||No report|
|23 Sep 1907||A||Southern Professional Charity Cup||Woolwich Arsenal||W: 1-0||No report|
|16 Feb 1935||H||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||L: 0-1||No report|
|04 Jan 1941||H||London War Cup||Arsenal||W: 2-0||No report|
|11 Jan 1941||A||London War Cup||Arsenal||W: 1-0||No report|
|29 Nov 1941||A||London League||Arsenal||L: 1-3||No report|
|07 Mar 1942||H||London League||Arsenal||L: 1-4||No report|
|24 Oct 1942||A||Football League South||Arsenal||L: 1-4||No report|
|30 Jan 1943||H||Football League South||Arsenal||L: 4-5||No report|
|04 Mar 1944||A||League Cup South||Arsenal||W: 3-2||No report|
|25 Mar 1944||H||League Cup South||Arsenal||W: 5-1||No report|
|04 Nov 1944||H||Football League South||Arsenal||W: 3-1||No report|
|03 Feb 1945||H||League Cup South||Arsenal||L: 1-3||No report|
|24 Feb 1945||A||League Cup South||Arsenal||L: 0-3||No report|
|31 Mar 1945||A||Football League South||Arsenal||W: 2-0||No report|
|03 Apr 1957||H||Southern Professional Floodlit Cup||Arsenal||W: 2-1||No report|
|11 Oct 1967||A||League Cup||Arsenal||L: 0-1||No report|
|05 Feb 1972||H||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||L: 1-2||No report|
|02 Oct 1974||H||Friendly||Arsenal||L: 0-2||No report|
|10 Jan 1987||H||Football Association Cup||Arsenal||L: 1-3||No report|
|29 Nov 2005||A||League Cup||Arsenal||L: 0-3||Read report...|
|22 Oct 2006||H||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 0-4||Read report...|
|03 Mar 2007||A||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 1-2||Read report...|
|12 Nov 2007||H||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|19 Apr 2008||A||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 0-2||Read report...|
|30 Oct 2012||H||League Cup||Arsenal||L: 5-7||Read report...|
|17 Dec 2012||H||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 2-5||Read report...|
|30 Mar 2013||A||FA Premier League||Arsenal||L: 1-4||Read report...|
Thanks to Strap for the details.
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