LONDON – Theo Walcott hit a hat-trick as Arsenal came back from four goals down to win a Capital One Cup fourth-round classic against Reading, the Gunners sealing a 7-5 win in extra-time at the Madejski Stadium last night.
A youthful Gunners set-up endured a nightmare start, going three down after 20 minutes and four down after 37 as their defence imploded.
Walcott gave the visitors hope at the interval with his first before Olivier Giroud and then Laurent Koscielny in the 89th minute scored to set up a grandstand finish to normal time. Just a minute later Walcott struck for a second time to force extra-time, sparking wild celebrations in the Arsenal end.
Marouane Chamakh put the visitors ahead for the first time in the additional 30 minutes only for substitute Pavel Pogrebnyak to restore parity at 5-5.
But Walcott hammered home a loose ball to complete his hat-trick before Chamakh grabbed a second to ensure there would be no more surreal drama on the counter-attack right at the end of a breathless night.
Perez killed during robbery
SANTO DOMINGO – Flamboyant and sometimes infuriating former All-Star pitcher Pascual Perez was killed in a home invasion robbery today in his native Dominican Republic. Perez, 55, suffered a fatal stab wound to the neck during the apparent robbery at his home in Haina, about 10 miles west of the capital Santo Domingo. Perez received his Major League Baseball pension payment the previous day.
Perez pitched for the Pirates, Braves, Expos and Yankees in an 11-year major league career. He was 67-68 with a 3.44 ERA in his career. He was an All-Star in 1983, when he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA for the Braves.
Perez was noted for his exaggerated celebrations on the mound, which often drew the ire of opposing batters. He was a central figure in a wild 1984 game between the Padres and Braves that featured multiple brawls and players going after fans.
Police to probe racist gesture
LONDON – Police and Chelsea FC have launched an investigation after a photograph appeared to show a fan making a monkey gesture close to a black Manchester United star last night. Chelsea won the thrilling Capital One Cup match 5-4.
Chelsea said it would probe the incident after yesterday formally accusing a top referee of racially abusing one of its players. Chelsea triggered the probe in to the front-row seated supporter at Stamford Bridge after he seemed to be holding his arms up in an ape style
close to England forward Danny Welbeck. The image emerged just three days after
Chelsea star John Obi Mikel was allegedly called a “monkey” by referee Mark Clattenburg when the same sides clashed.
A spokesman said: “Chelsea FC is committed to removing all forms of discrimination and if we have sufficient evidence we will take the strongest possible action, including supporting criminal prosecution.”
The Metropolitan Police have also opened an investigation into the alleged racist behaviour.