Arsenal finally pick up three points after quite a time of frustration and disappointment. And what a way to break the duck. The scoreline barely reflects a game where The Gunners dominated from start to finish, and could or even should have run up a cricket score.
In front of a shockingly sparse crowd, perhaps because many had given up on the season, perhaps because the weather was far from idealic for sitting and watching a game, the atmosphere was somewhat quiet, but in spite of this, Arsenal raised their game to perform something of a champagne finale to the season.
The pressure was off, Arsenal have little or nothing to play for now apart from pride, so were free to relax and just go out and enjoy themselves. And that is exactly what they did. Flashes of genius, one touch football at it's finest, fast breaks and playing keep-ball frustrated a virtual eleven man Reading defence.
There was a point where Arsenal had been so dominant, it was difficult to believe that the score was still 0-0 on the half hour, such was the wave after wave of attack. Theo Walcott was inspirational, running Reading ragged, Cesc bossed the midfield with sublime ease. It just seemed a question of time before The Gunners scored. When the goal came after the half hour mark, it was worthy of the wait. Kolo Toure with a precise pass through from the right, controlled in an instant by Emmanuel Adebayor on his left foot, and slotted past the keeper with his right. 1-0 to Arsenal, and from that moment on, if there was ever any doubt, there was only going to be one winner. It was more a case of how many goals would the margin be.
As it turned out, it was only to be two goals, and again, the second from Gilberto was worth waiting for. Arsenal have been reluctant to shoot, and have been guilty of wasting chances because of it. Great work from Cesc Fabregas to work the ball through to Gilberto, who tried his luck from 25 yards, and courtesy of a deflection, the ball found it's way past the despairing dive of Marcus Hahnemann and into the left corner.
The half time whistle arrived, and the only real surprise was that Arsenal were only two goals to the good. Jens Lehmann, deputising for the injured Almunia was nothing short of a spectator for the most part, and certainly had no saves to make in the opening 45.
After the break, Arsene's Army carried on as they had in the first half, wave after wave of pressure and chances. Robin Van Persie saw a free kick come back off both the crossbar and post, Theo Walcott nearly put the crossbar into Central London, Adebayor had a goal ruled out for offside as Arsenal pressed on and on.
Reading, to their credit, had a plan, and they stuck to it. However, once The Gunners had scored, they were guilty of star gazing, guilty of doing an Arsenal in wasting chances, more so for only troubling Jens Lehmann with a fiercely driven shot late on.
Too little, too late for Arsenal, but the win will give confidence, belief, and should Chelsea drop points, a real hope for that second spot.
Keep the faith! In Arsene we trust.