Reading dropped to seventh in the FA Women’s Super League after two goals from Vivianne Miedema helped current title holders Arsenal return to the top of the table.
Miedema opened the scoring before Arsenal skipper Kim Little rounded off a superb team move for the Gunners’ second before Miedema added her second in stoppage time to complete a comfortable victory at Adams Park.
Fara Williams was given a golden opportunity to open the scoring against her former club after a stray pass at the back allowed the midfielder to shift the ball past Leah Williamson but she skewed the ball wide of the target.
A quick move on the break saw Arsenal take the lead in the 28th minute as Danielle van de Donk picked out her compatriot Miedema who dinked the ball over goalkeeper Grace Moloney and into the net with a smart finish.
The Gunners doubled their lead in the 36th minute with a spectacular team goal, with some impressive one touch football between Williamson and Jordan Nobbs before Little finished with a delightful lob to round off a sublime move.
The Royals tried to battle their way back into the game and had a half chance early in the second half as Williams’ cross found the head of Lisa-Marie Utland but her headed effort floated over the crossbar.
Williams continued to provide a bright spark in the Reading side and she came close to reducing the deficit in the 77th minute. A volleyed through ball found Williams in behind the defence with the midfielder choosing to take her chance early as she attempted to loft the bouncing ball beyond Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, bit her audacious fell a couple of inches wide of the post.
Just moments later, Moloney made a crucial block to keep out Miedema before Lisa Evans fired the rebound just wide of the far post. Moloney made another impressive stop, this time from Jill Roord as she pushed her long range strike over the bar.
But the north London side added a third before the end as Miedema latched onto van de Donk’s through ball and delicately lifted the ball over Moloney to score her 12th league goal of the season to put her way out in front in the goalscoring charts.
The loss sees Kelly Chambers’ side drop to 7th in the WSL table, with their final group game of the Conti Cup to come on Friday evening away at Chelsea.
Reading: Moloney, Leine, Utland, James, Pacheco, Moore, Allen, Potter, Williams, Chaplen, Howard.
Subs: Eikeland, Farrow, Bennink, Laws, Reynolds, Quirk.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Walti, Beattie, Williamson, Schanderbeck, Evans, Nobbs, Little, van de Donk, Mead, Miedema.
Subs: Mitchell, Roord, McCabe, Quinn, Peyraud-Magnin, Maier.