Reading 1-0 Chelsea: Blues Royally Frustrated

The Blues missed a great chance to go top of the WSL for the first time this season with a shock defeat at the Madjeski Stadium. For the second time in 3 days, Emma Hayes’s side drew a blank as it ended Reading 1-0 Chelsea. 

Reading 1-0 Chelsea Final Score

Team News

After the midweek stalemate with Juventus, there were six changes for Chelsea. Zecira Musovic came back into the net with Millie Bright, Jess Carter and Magda Eriksson all keeping their places. Erin Cuthbert remained at wingback, joined on the left by Jonna Andersson. There was a new midfield axel of Drew Spence and Melly Leupolz.  Up top, Chelsea started Jessie Fleming and Beth England in support of Sam Kerr. 

First Half

After a frustrating match at Kingsmeadow, Chelsea once again shot themselves in the foot. Deanne Rose was afforded far too much space and drove into the Chelsea half. She exchanged passes with Emma Harries inside the box and fired past Musovic to give the Royals a shock lead after just 4 minutes.

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The away side showed signs of life as they chased an equaliser. Kerr looped a header from a Cuthbert corner wide. Millie Bright then was denied by an instinctive goal-line block by Gemma Evans after skipper Magda Eriksson’s free kick caused chaos. Another Cuthbert corner and another chance. This time Beth England denied at close range by another block by Evans. 

At half-time, Reading were standing firm and Chelsea were staring down a 2nd league defeat. 

Second Half

Emma Hayes summoned the cavalry at half-time. Pernille Harder, Fran Kirby and Guro Reiten all entered, replacing Andersson, Spence and England. Another Cuthbert corner was recycled and the resulting low ball was steered wide by Eriksson. The Blues were beginning to absolutely control possession and Reiten was unlucky as she just curled wide from the edge of the box. 

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However, Chelsea continued to be frustratingly profligate with getting shots on target. Bright’s delivery from deep was headed wide by Harder, before the Dane tamely headed into Grace Moloney’s arms. This was the only save she had to make, as it finished Reading 1-0 Chelsea. As a result, Emma Hayes’s side once again lost ground on Arsenal in the league. 

Full Time: Reading 1-0 Chelsea

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Final Thoughts: Reading 1-0 Chelsea

A disastrous few days for Chelsea. The hopes of retaining the WSL now look slim as a result of Arsenal’s dropped points against Spurs not being capitalised on. Additionally, Chelsea now have the imposing task of getting a result against Wolfsburg to ensure UWCL progression. 

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