The Blues gained revenge on the Royals and returned to top spot in the WSL with an assured and confident display. Impressive finishes from Jessie Fleming and Bethany England were the pick of the bunch as it ended Chelsea 5-0 Reading at Kingsmeadow.
After last week’s record-breaking victory over Leicester City, Emma Hayes made 2 changes as the Blues reverted to a 4-3-3 formation. Zecira Musovic remained in goal with Jess Carter and club captain Magda Eriksson at fullback. Millie Bright and Aniek Nouwen started in the centre of the defence, with Sophie Ingle screening from midfield. Erin Cuthbert and Jessie Fleming had free midfield roles. The front 3 of Bethany England, Sam Kerr and Guro Reiten all scored against Leicester the week before.
A dogged Reading frustrated Chelsea early on, with keeper Grace Moloney happy to take her time at restarts. Guro Reiten sent a free kick over the bar, whilst Fleming was teed up by Cuthbert on the edge of the box but could only curl over.
Chelsea should have taken the lead midway through the half. A corner from Reiten found Bethany Engand unmarked inside the box, but she could only head straight at Moloney. However, the pressure was building and it told on the 40th minute.Embed from Getty Images
A flowing Chelsea move involving Cuthbert and Ingle eventually saw the ball released to Reiten. The Norwegian’s first time cross was nodded back effectively by England to Fleming. The Canuck’s touch was perfect and she powered a half-volley into the right-hand corner with Moloney rooted.
The Blues were going back top and there was some relief at Kingsmeadow.
Emma Hayes sent her team out with intent to start the half and buoyed by the late first half goal, they scored again on the 52nd minute. Good pressing from England saw her release Reiten and the latter’s cross was perfectly placed back to England. She slammed home a precise side-foot volley from just inside the box.Embed from Getty Images
On the 66th, it was 3-0. Again, great pressing from Chelsea this time saw Reiten pounce on a heavy touch. She teed up Sam Kerr who finished from 3 yards out. A similar move to the 2nd resulted in the 4th goal in the 77th minute. This time it was Cuthbert released on the wing, and her cutback was steered in by Kerr from around 10 yards out.Embed from Getty Images
A raft of late changes saw Nouwen, Carter, Fleming, Cuthbert and Reiten all replaced. Alsu Abdullina, Maren Mjelde, Niamh Charles, Jonna Andersson and Drew Spence all saw minutes. The Blues added deserved gloss in the added time. Kerr found England and she was tripped by a tired Faye Bryson. Chelsea’s No. 9 dusted herself down and dispatched the spotkick to make it Chelsea 5-0 Reading.
Full Time: Chelsea 5-0 ReadingEmbed from Getty Images
Final Thoughts: Chelsea 5-0 Reading
Another WSL record as the Blues keep a seventh consecutive home clean sheet. Emma Hayes’s side stayed patient, kept control and ultimately got their just rewards in a controlled display. Chelsea 5-0 Reading keeps the Champions in control of their destiny with just 4 games left.
Before that, it’s back to Women’s FA Cup action and the semi-final tie away at Meadow Park against Arsenal.