Imagine being one of those Arsenal fans that left before half time....

What a game at the Madejski Stadium that saw a sensational (at times, unthinkable) 5-7 win for Arsenal against a Reading side that were hungry for a win.

In the first half, it looked like they were going to get it too. Arsenal were fielding a different eleven to the one that squeezed past QPR in the Premier League on Saturday, choosing to give some of their younger players some ball-time. It looked to be an error that, in the first half, would give Arsene Wenger's side a one-way ticket out of the cup; in a quite frankly embarrassing manner.

From the off, it was like Arsenal hadn't showed up and with Reading piling on the pressure, it was only a matter of time before they scored. The goal came from Jason Roberts, a figure that we are quite used to seeing in the press at the minute, scored a corker that snuck behind the Arsenal defence and was belted in off the volley.

The lead was tripled by the twentieth minute, the second coming from one of the worst defensive errors that you are likely to see all season by Koscienly. This gave the home side the momentum and after sudden adrenaline rush, two minutes later Leigertwood's leap away from his marker saw him fire at the goal and Arsenal keeper Martinez has no chance at stopping it from being diverted off the post and into the net. 

The onslaught didn't end there. Reading kept tearing the Arsenal defence apart and Noel Hunt, who had been superb from his team throughout the half got his head on the end of McCleary's shot and it was 4-0. Absolute madness. The travelling Gunners' fans were pouring out of the Madejski at that point. Initially it was unclear whether it was the darts-style post-goal music or the absolute embarrassment of seeing their team so easily being taken apart that was driving them away. I'm assuming it was the latter.

Whatever it was they would soon be regretting their decision as, just before the stroke of half-time, signs of a possible comeback were on the cards as Theo Walcott capitalised on a rare period of domination for Arsenal and scored. It was clear from the look on his and the faces of his team mates that this was to be seen as a consolation for a truly shambolic display in the first forty five minutes.

There aren't enough "Oh Arsenals" that were said during that first half.

After the break, Arsenal were slowly but surely getting back into the game. If there is one team that surely knows that being 4-0 up in a game doesn't necessarily mean that you've won it, it's Arsenal and you would guess that Arsene Wenger would have mentioned that 4-4 draw with Newcastle in the inevitable half time rollicking of his players. 

Sure enough they gathered momentum and in the sixty fourth minute, it was substitute Olivier Giroud's header that established the comeback was well and truly on. 4-2 was the score and they had just twenty six minutes to turn this around. Could they really turn this around?

For long periods of the second half, it was pretty much end-to-end action and as the ninety minutes drew closer and closer it was becoming increasingly unlikely that the fightback would amount to anything but football is a strange game, made even stranger when Koscienly scored in the eighty-ninth minute, this time in the right net, to make it 4-3. 

Fourth official Michael Oliver had signalled just four minutes of added time into a game that was becoming more and more incredible as the minutes went on but it was the ninety-fifth minute that saw the most unlikely of equalisers coming from, no-doubt Arsenal's hero of the night, Theo Walcott. It's fair to say, the Reading staff and players were furious. 

In a rather surreal moment, having been caught up in all of the excitement, Giroud and Coquelin threw their shirts into the away end thinking they had won the game, only to have to ask for them back in a rather comedic style when they realised they still had another hour and a half to play.

Imagine being one of those Arsenal fans that left before half time....

So, with this being the Capital One Cup (or Milk Cup as it otherwise referred) there are no replays so it was it was into added time this extraordinary game went. 

Once again it was pulsating end-to-end action but Arsenal were starting to dominate in a game where they almost showed no attacking threat at all but with just two minutes of the first extra fifteen to go Chamakh, who had been pretty much invisible throughout the game, scored to give his side the most unlikely of 4-5 leads. Unbelievable.

After a short break, play resumed for the second fifteen and Arsenal kept pressing and pressing with it looking increasingly likely that they could extend the lead in this crazy game but this is football. In a game that was producing the most unlikely of scenarios as it was, Pogrenbyak scored for Reading and it looked like all of this excitement was going to lead to penalty shootout. 5-5.

Deeper in to the added time, penalties were drawing ever closer until a surprisingly athletic run by the tired legs of Theo Walcott saw the hearts of the Reading faithful broken as he scored a goal that looked sure to signal the end of the game. 5-6 to Arsenal and Reading looked like they were running out of options even though they had chances soon after to equalise once more, ultimately they had nothing left. To add insult to tiredness, Chamakh scored in the dying seconds to make it a rather historic 5-7 win in a game that was always acting as a warm up for their trip to Old Trafford on Saturday in the Premier League.

Imagine being one of those Arsenal fans that left before half time...