Reading Women fell to a second defeat of the season in the Women’s Super League as a strong Arsenal side won 4-0 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Sunday.

A deadly double from Vivianne Miedema followed openers from Beth Mead and Jen Beattie to down the Royals reports Ben Waite.

It was a first outing at the SCL Stadium in front of fans since December 2020 for Kelly Chambers’ side.

She was dealt an early blow with first choice goalkeeper Grace Moloney ruled out of the fixture late on through illness paving a way for 18-year-old Rhiannon Stewart to make her senior debut.

The young goalkeeper held her head high against arguably the strongest strike force in world football.

Within 20 seconds, she had made a save from Miedema to boost her confidence.

Although Stewart impressed between the sticks, a shaky defence again was the downfall for the Royals.

There were 17 minutes on the clock when Beattie headed home from a corner to give Arsenal the advantage.

Emma Harries did have a chance for Reading to level proceedings with her persistent pressure but saw a shot comfortably saved by Manuela Zinsberger.

The Royals defence were at fault for the second Arsenal goal. A poor goal kick from centre back Gemma Evans put Reading under instant pressure before an attempt was worked.

An initial Arsenal shot was deflected into the path of an onrushing Mead, who fired home past a static backline on the half hour mark.

Two minutes later, and with confidence at the back lacking, Miedema got her name on the scoresheet.

The Arsenal striker recently bypassed the 100-goal mark for the visitors and with the easiest of chances side footed in from five yards out after another storming run from Mead. 

Arsenal were again fast out of the blocks in the second period with Miedema doubling her tally on 50 minutes. The Dutch striker was left unmarked for the simplest of headers.

Changes by Chambers followed with debuts for international duo Justine Vanhaevermaet and Deanne Rose.

Reading looked more confident going forward with both Vanhaevermaet and Natasha Harding seeing efforts go begging.

The best chance of the game for Reading fell to Amalie Eikeland in the 90th minute when her close-range effort was saved by Zinsberger.

After an international break, they return to action away at Tottenham on the 26th of September.