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Reading Women 0-4 Arsenal: Gunners remain unbeaten under Eidevall

Arsenal scored three first half goals as they ran out 4-0 winners

Reading Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Ryan Pierse - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Arsenal maintained their 100% record under new head coach Jonas Eidevall after a comprehensive 4-0 win against Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. First half goals from Jen Beattie, Beth Mead, and Vivianne Miedema put the Gunners in full control at half time, with Miedema adding a second early into the second half. Arsenal have now played six games under Eidevall, and have won all six—four in the Champions League and two in the WSL.

Eidevall made five changes to Thursday’s team, with goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, Noëlle Maritz, Jen Beattie, Lia Wälti, and Katie McCabe all coming into the team, with Lydia Williams, Anna Patten, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Nikita Parris, and Mana Iwabuchi dropping to the bench.

Vivianne Miedema scored her 100th Arsenal goal on Thursday, and she nearly got her 101st in the opening seconds of the match. Katie McCabe got slipped in behind, and pulled the ball back for Miedema, whose shot was saved by Rhiannon Stewart in the Reading goal. Stewart was making her WSL debut after an injury during the warm-up to Reading #1 Grace Moloney.

Reading’s reprieve wouldn’t last for long. Mead slalomed her way through, and though her shot was put behind for a corner, Arsenal would go ahead, as Jen Beattie headed home McCabe’s delivery to make it 1-0 on seventeen minutes.

Arsenal were consistently finding joy in wide positions, with both wide players, McCabe and Mead, and full backs, Catley and Maritz, highly influential, and soon it was two. Frida Maanum’s shot was blocked, and the ricochet came to Mead, whose first-time left footed strike went into the top corner.

Two minutes later it was three: Leah Williamson intercepted, and with Reading pushed high up, Williamson strode into midfield before her pass played Mead in behind. Mead drove towards goal, and when Stewart came out to meet her, Mead teed up Miedema, who made no mistake. Mead would have another chance on the stroke of half time, set up by Maritz, but her shot went over the top.

Arsenal started the second half as they ended the first: completely on top, and soon the Gunners added a fourth. Again, Mead was involved. After collecting a return pass from Wälti, Mead’s cross was met by a leaping Miedema, whose header went into the far corner of the goal—Miedema’s 63rd WSL goal, and already her 3rd of the WSL season, while it was already a 6th assist for Mead in all competitions thus far.

Eidevall made a host of changes on the hour mark and later brought on two teenagers, Alex Hennessy and Halle Houssein for their WSL debuts. Reading began to get into the match as Arsenal dropped their intensity, but bar a late save by Zinsberger, the hosts created little of note, and while Arsenal had chances to add to their tally, there was nothing clear cut, with the Gunners happy with a 4-0 win.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Patten 61’), Williamson, Beattie, Catley (Hennessy 78’); Wälti (Iwabuchi 61’), Maanum (Houssein 86’); Mead, Little, McCabe; Miedema (Parris 61’)
Substitutes not used: Williams, Wubben-Moy, Goldie

Goals: Beattie 17’, Mead 30’, Miedema 32’, 50’