Arsenal moved to five points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Women’s Super League after a 4-0 win over Reading. Three goals in twelve first half minutes gave the Gunners a comprehensive lead, and Arsenal were never really threatened by Reading afterwards.
Jonas Eidevall made one change to the Arsenal team that last played in the league, with Katie McCabe filling in for Beth Mead, who was on the bench. That meant Arsenal again played with Vivianne Miedema as a number 10 behind Stina Blackstenius. Miedema, as Arsenal’s number 10, was at the heart of most attacking moves, knitting play with some superb touches, and it was the two who combined for the first goal.
Steph Catley’s sharp pass was collected by Miedema, who slipped the ball to Blackstenius. There was a fortuitous deflection from a Reading defender to Miedema, but she made no mistake, firing across Rhiannon Stewart with her left foot to make it 1-0.
Two minutes later, it was two. Again, Catley was involved, slipping Caitlin Foord down the left. Foord’s left footed cross was deflected to Blackstenius, whose shot was blocked, but Katie McCabe tucked in the rebound.
On 34 minutes, Leah Williamson made it three, leaping highest to head home Catley’s corner, and put the game beyond doubt. Arsenal had good chances to make it four: after McCabe’s ball for Foord was cut out, Blackstenius won the ball back, and slipped Foord in, only for the Australian’s shot to be straight at Stewart, and then, on the stroke of half time, Foord just over hit a cutback for Blackstenius, who had a tap-in.
Arsenal took the foot off the pedal in the second half, but they still had good chances. Nice hold up play from Blackstenius saw Miedema slip in Mead, on as a substitute, but her strike hit the crossbar.
Reading threatened through Rachel Rowe, with a swerving shot gathered by Zinsberger on the second attempt before Arsenal settled the scoring. Mead slipped Miedema in down the inside-right channel, and Miedema’s cutback found Blackstenius for the tap-in, for the Swede’s second goal—both assisted by Vivianne Miedema.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Wienroither 59’), Williamson, Rafaelle Souza, Catley; Wälti (Maanum 59’), Little; McCabe (Heath 71’), Miedema (Nobbs 75’), Foord (Mead 59’); Blackstenius
Substitutes not used: Williams, Beattie, Boye, Iwabuchi
Goals: Miedema 22’, McCabe 24’, Williamson 34’, Blackstenius 72’