The Russia international hailed the impact of the 23-year-old's first-half injury-time strike, claiming it gave the Gunners confidence to claim a 7-5 victory after being 4-0 down
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 visitors at the Madejski Stadium, getting three assists as the Gunners scored three second-half goals to level the game before going on to win 7-5 win in extra time.
And 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.
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"I think it was important that we scored one goal before half-time 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 equalised at the end of stoppage time."
Arshavin insists he was not angry with his side's first-half display, suggesting Reading were simply doing everything correctly as the Gunners failed to cope.
He added: "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.
"To be honest I did not think about when we had to equalise, 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.”