Theo Walcott and Marouane Chamakh both netted twice as Reading blew the chance to record a first-ever win over Arsenal in a jaw-dropping fourth-round match at the Madejski Stadium.The Gunners looked shaky at the back in the early stages, and were punished when Jason Roberts lost Laurent Koscielny in the area and slid in to convert Hal Robson-Kanu's fine cross. And Koscielny was again at fault as the Royals doubled their lead, turning into his own net with Damian Martinez beaten at his near post.
Reading stormed into a 3-0 lead before 20 minutes had elapsed, Mikele Leigertwood's shot from 20 yards slipping past him after Martinez made a mess of keeping the itout, getting his angles wrong and punching the ball into the net. Arsenal were unable to stem the tide, and it was four when Noel Hunt beat Carl Jenkinson to bury a far-post header.
Walcott pulled one back in stoppage time at the end of the opening period, running through on goal and dinking over Adam Federici, while substitute Olivier Giroud netted a header in the second period to spark hopes of a comeback.
Koscielny, who had been given a torrid time by Roberts, gave the Gunners a further injection of hope by scoring a header on 88 minutes, before Jenkinson intervened in the sixth minute of stoppage time - after Ian Harte had appeared to handle Walcott's goalbound shot on the line - to complete the remarkable turnaround.
The scoring in extra time was started by Chamakh, who netted for the first time in over a year. Pavel Pogrebnyak's reply with only a few minutes remaining seemed to have forced penalties, only for Walcott and Chamakh to put the game out of the Royals' reach.