Match ends, Arsenal Women 6, Reading Women 1.
Women’s Super League Arsenal Women 6-1 Reading Women6 September 2020
Jill Roord scored a hat-trick as Arsenal made a strong start to the new Women's Super League season with a thumping win over Reading.
Kim Little gave the hosts a 15th-minute lead when she showed good technique to volley home from 15 yards out from Leah Williamson's chipped cross.
Vivianne Miedema got off the mark for the campaign with a composed finish from Jordan Nobbs' pass before Roord slotted in to make it 3-0 at the break.
Roord completed her hat-trick with tidy finishes at the end of good moves either side of Miedema's fearsome drive from 20 yards that went in off the underside of the bar.
Danielle Carter grabbed a late consolation when she stole the ball off Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger.
Reading were playing their first competitive game since March while Arsenal had returned to action with the Champions League quarter-final defeat by Paris St-Germain in August.
The visitors competed admirably throughout but lacked a cutting edge and could not contain Joe Montemurro's outfit.
The Gunners went close to an early opener when Roord flashed a low effort past the post from 20 yards before Scotland international Little's classy finish put them in front.
Steph Catley hit a free-kick against the bar from range before the visitors were caught out by a ball over the top and Nobbs cut it back for Miedema, who showed customary coolness to take the ball around Grace Moloney in the Reading goal and slot home.
Roord ended the game as a contest before half-time with a measured low finish from Beth Mead's pass on the edge of the area.
Little teed up Roord for the fourth after getting round the back of the Reading defence before Miedema wasted a great chance to make it 5-0 when she dwelt on the ball after going round the goalkeeper and saw two shots charged down by blocks.
The Dutch striker, the league's top scorer with 16 last season, made up for that miss with a brilliantly struck shot and Roord completed her hat-trick after a lovely team move.
Montemurro will have been annoyed by the nature of Reading's late goal as Zinsberger dallied on the ball six yards out and ex-Arsenal striker Carter pinched it off her to score.
Poor start for Reading addition 'Fischlock'
It was a disappointing Reading debut for Wales international midfielder Jess Fishlock.
Fishlock, who has won 113 caps for her country, was playing her first WSL game since 2012 after joining on loan from American side OL Reign but aside from some neat touches early on had limited impact.
Her day was perhaps best summed up by the typing error that was made on the back of her jersey.
- 12CatleySubstituted forMaierat 69'minutesBooked at 83mins
- 16MaritzBooked at 42mins
- 10LittleSubstituted forGutat 76'minutes
- 13WältiSubstituted forvan de Donkat 69'minutes
- 8NobbsSubstituted forEvansat 76'minutes
- 9MeadSubstituted forFoordat 69'minutes
- 7van de Donk
- 11HardingBooked at 69mins
- 2LeineSubstituted forRoweat 45'minutes
- 8FishlockBooked at 60mins
- 4WilliamsSubstituted forBrutonat 45'minutesBooked at 56mins
- Amy Fearns