Miedema stars as Arsenal go five points clear of Chelsea
By Football Reporter
Arsenal 4 Reading 0
Vivianne Miedema's goal and assist helped Arsenal extend their Barclays FA Women's Super League unbeaten run to five games with a 4-0 win against Reading.
Miedema, Katie McCabe and Leah Williamson all scored within 12 minutes at Meadow Park before Stina Blackstenius added a fourth after half-time.
Arsenal, who have played two more matches than second-placed Chelsea, are now five points clear atop the Barclays FA Women's Super League, while Reading remain in sixth following two consecutive defeats.
The Gunners went in front after 22 minutes when some fantastic build-up play down the left flank reached Miedema, whose left-footed shot across goal found the bottom right corner.
Reading had played well, but they found themselves 2-0 down two minutes later when a low driven cross into the box broke to McCabe, who smashed the ball into the back of the net from two yards out.
And it was 3-0 12 minutes before half-time when Williamson's bullet header converted Steph Catley's corner kick.
After half-time, Beth Mead announced her arrival with a venomous strike that crashed into the Reading crossbar.
Blackstenius extended Arsenal's lead with 18 minutes remaining when she turned Miedema's cross into an empty net.
Reading nearly scored a goal of their own in the dying embers, but Williamson showed impressive desire to win the ball back in midfield and thwart their counter-attack.
Arsenal had chances to score a fifth with Mead coming closest when her long-range shot drifted wide of the left post.
Reading defended resolutely to keep the hosts out, and the game ended 4-0.
To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com
Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall said: “I think Miedema was brilliant tonight.
"It helps a lot to have a player who you can practically shoot the ball to but still see them control it.
"It makes it so hard then to defend those spaces, so I think her playing a little deeper today does not mean that she isn't going to be the end product of our attacks, and that is so important.
"That's a starting position, and that's a position where she can link up and glue the team together, but if you see how many times she's involved in making the final pass, or the shot or the second assist, then you see she's basically a part of most of our attacks so very well done to her."
Reading manager Kelly Chambers said: "If I'm honest, I don't think we were aggressive enough in the first half defensively.
"I think we gave them a couple, and I don't think they carved us open in terms of us letting them score.
"I think we frustrated them well for the first 20 minutes, and I feel like we gave them some easy goals.
"They're goals that I don't think we would have conceded a couple of months ago, so that was the disappointing thing for me, the goals."
Arsenal (4-4-2): Manuela Zinsberger; Noëlle Maritz, Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza, Steph Catley, Lia Walti, Kim Little, Vivianne Miedema, Caitlin Foord, Stina Blackstenius, Katie McCabe
Substitutes: Laura Wienroither for Maritz 59', Beth Mead for Foord 59', Frida Maanum for Walti 59, Tobin Heath for McCabe 70', Jordan Nobbs for Miedema 74'
Substitutes not used: Jen Beattie, Lydia Williams, Mana Iwabuchi, Simone Boye,
Goals: Miedema 22', McCabe 24', Williamson 34', Blackstenius 72’
Reading (4-3-3): Rhiannon Stewart, Faye Bryson, Gemma Evans, Amalie Eikeland, Natasha Dowie, Natasha Harding, Emma Harries, Deanna Cooper, Lily Woodham, Tia Primmer, Sanne Troelsgaard
Substitutes used: Rachel Rowe for Primmer 45', Justine Vanhaevermaet for Harries 45', Deanne Rose for Dowie 45'
Substitutes not used: Chloe Peplow, Bethan Roberts, Sophie Baigent, Anne Thomann, Hannah Poulter
Referee: James Bell