Skip to main content

Arsenal and Milan rally on night of comebacks

updated 5:57 AM EDT, Wed October 31, 2012
Theo Walcott celebrates his third goal and Arsenal's sixth as the Gunners complete a remarkable comeback at Reading.
Theo Walcott celebrates his third goal and Arsenal's sixth as the Gunners complete a remarkable comeback at Reading.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal stage stunning rally as they come from 4-0 down to beat Reading 7-5 in League Cup
  • Milan trail 2-0 at Palermo before drawing 2-2 as coach Allegri continues to feel pressure
  • Stephan El Shaarawy's late strike takes him to top of Serie A scoring charts with 7 goals
  • Barcelona and Dortmund win opening matches of their Spanish and German Cup defenses

(CNN) -- Two of Europe's biggest clubs staged dramatic comebacks on Tuesday as Arsenal rallied from 4-0 down to beat Reading 7-5 in the English League Cup while struggling Italian heavyweights AC Milan drew 2-2 at Palermo in Serie A.

The results will have different impacts for both coaches, with manager Arsene Wenger's position seemingly safe at Arsenal while Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will continue to face pressure as his side's indifferent form goes on.

In Tuesday's only top-flight league game in Italy, Palermo led 2-0 shortly after halftime whereupon the under-fire Allegri changed his tactical plan to good effect, switching from his favored 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1 while also introducing Bojan Krkic as a substitute.

The former Barcelona player had an instant impact, teeing up a goal for Riccardo Montolivo before Stephan El Shaarawy leveled the game 10 minutes from time, with the 20-year-old's seventh league goal of the season taking him to the top of the scoring charts.

German Martin Kaymer milks the moment as his putt on the 18th green ensures Europe will retain the Ryder Cup. His defeat of Steve Stricker capped an improbable comeback, as the Europeans triumphed 14½-13½ despite trailing 10-4 at one stage on Saturday.
German Martin Kaymer milks the moment as his putt on the 18th green ensures Europe will retain the Ryder Cup. His defeat of Steve Stricker capped an improbable comeback, as the Europeans triumphed 14½-13½ despite trailing 10-4 at one stage on Saturday.
Mission Improbable
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
The greatest sporting comebacks The greatest sporting comebacks
Berlusconi sentenced, blames politics
Can AC Milan rebuild this season?

The point bought Allegri a little more breathing space as the seven-time European champions moved into the top half of the table, yet they still trail league leaders and old rivals Juventus by 14 points with just a quarter of the season gone.

With Allegri's position under constant scrutiny and club president -- and former Italian Prime Minister -- Silvio Berlusconi having been sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion, the start to Milan's season has been anything but easy.

Wenger has also been criticized after mixed recent results, and his team -- featuring 11 changes from Saturday's hard-fought win over lowly Queens Park Rangers -- went 4-0 down after just 37 minutes against another team stuck in the Premier League's relegation zone.

Seconds before halftime, Theo Walcott scored the first goal of a special hat-trick, with his second coming six minutes into stoppage time to force extra-time.

The England international's his 120th-minute goal gave Arsenal a 6-5 lead, which was later extended by Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh's second of the match.

"The first set is for us, it was a tennis game today," joked Wenger afterwards. "There were so many turning points. The goal to make it 4-1 just before halftime was important, as was the miracle goal in the (90th) minute."

Wenger was forced to face disgruntled supporters at a stormy annual general meeting last week, where many fans were unhappy to hear him place qualification for the UEFA Champions League above winning a trophy.

The Gunners have failed to pick up any silverware since 2005 but they have now made it into the quarterfinals of the League Cup, on a night when fellow Premier League sides Sunderland, Wigan and Southampton all exited the competition.

Meanwhile, Reading became the first team to score five goals in a non-qualifying round of either the League Cup or FA Cup and lose a game.

Meanwhile, Spanish league leaders Barcelona began the defense of their Copa del Rey title with a 3-0 victory at third division team Deportivo Alaves.

Regular first-teamers David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas scored in the first-leg tie, while fellow La Liga side Valencia won 2-0 at Llagostera.

German Cup holders Borussia Dortmund reached the third round with a 4-1 win at second division Aalen, while fellow Bundesliga sides Schalke, Freiburg and Mainz also went through.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
ADVERTISEMENT