Andriy Arshavin has hailed the impact of Theo Walcott‘s strike in first-half injury time against Reading in the Capital One Cup, saying it gave Arsenal the belief to go on and win despite trailing by four goals.
The Russian forward was in fine form for the Gunners at the Madejski Stadium, getting three assists as the team scored three second-half goals to level the game before going on to win 7-5 win in extra time.
The 31-year-old playmaker feels his side's ability to get back into the tie hinged on Walcott's delicate lob over Adam Federici in the 46th minute, as Arsenal's confidence grew in the second half.
"I think it was important that we scored one goal before halftime because it helped us believe that maybe it was possible," he told Arsenal Player. "I think we showed spirit because you cannot come back from 4-0 down if you don't have spirit. Also I think we were lucky and the referee added extra minutes and we equalized at the end of stoppage time."
Arshavin insists he was not angry with his side's first-half display, suggesting Reading was simply doing everything correctly as the Gunners failed to cope.
"I did not feel frustrated but everything was going wrong and everything was going well for Reading. They got in the necessary positions where they could score and they did it," he went on. "To be honest I did not think about when we had to equalize, I just felt that if we had the chance and God will help us, we will make a draw. He helped us and that's why we scored in the last minute.
"I have lost twice 7-1, once I lost 8-3 and once I won 9-3 and now 7-5. But this game was one I will remember always because it was from 4-0 down and I don't think anyone here believed that we could come back. But we did it and we deserved to win.”