Reading 0-1 Arsenal: Stina Blackstenius extends the visitors’ perfect start in the WSL

Stina Blackstenius’ goal was Arsenal’s 40th goal in their last 10 WSL games, conceding just twice along the way.

Arsenal extended their perfect start to the Women’s Super League season by overcoming a stubborn Reading side to narrowly win their first away game of the campaign.

Stina Blackstenius expertly turned inside the penalty area to give the visitors the lead with a clinical finish in testing conditions at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Sweden almost doubled Arsenal’s lead early in the second half when a header from Katie McCabe hit the woodwork after her shot hit the post.

Reading goalkeeper Jackie Burns, making her top-flight debut, saved Kim Little’s penalty after a handball decision on Lily Woodham on the hour mark.

Manuela Zinsberger brilliantly denied Deanna Cooper and Natasha Dowie for Woodham to curl a corner wide of the post as the second-bottom side threatened to equalise.

But Arsenal closed out the win and are behind Manchester United Brighton won 4-0 Earlier on Sunday – top of the table after three games on goal difference.

Second-bottom Reading have lost their opening three games.

Kings work to beat Arsenal

Reading have never beaten Arsenal in 13 attempts in the WSL, and few would have predicted the threat that one of the first attacks they faced would pose in open form.

Despite the lack of service for the ready runner Dowie in attack, the organization and energy of Kelly Chambers’ players became the hallmark of a precise display in which they almost tied Arsenal, showing marked improvement from the 4-0 defeats. in the game last season.

Most Royals fans wouldn’t have predicted a positive result, but he gave his side to suggest they can target points from their next game, followed by a run at bottom side Leicester.

However, Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall’s concerns about the absence of Leah Williamson on the night would have been eased by Reading’s frequent struggles to get into opposition territory.

In the eight games Williamson has missed since December 2021, Arsenal have lost more games than the 20 in which the England captain has been involved.

Williamson and centre-back partner Rafaelle Souza are expected to be out for several weeks with injuries, and Eidevalle’s defensive disruption will surely jeopardize his side’s WSL clean sheet in the coming weeks.

Eidevall admitted before the start that Lotte Wubben-Moy and Steph Catley could not be expected to perfectly imitate Williamson and Souza.

Wubben-Moy was at fault when he released Cooper in the penalty area and made a vital stop from Zinsberger, who was Arsenal’s savior on more than one occasion and cleared Rachel Rowe’s header off the line as Arsenal went nine league games without conceding.

A grueling trip to Lyon in the Champions League awaits on Wednesday, when Eidevalle is sure to learn more about whether his depleted backline can withstand tougher tests.

The eleven

Women reading

training 4-3-3

  • 25Burns
  • 9Oakland
  • 14CooperReserve in 63 minutes
  • 5Evans
  • 3Another onereplaced byBrysonin 45′minutesBooked in 90 minutes
  • 37FirstBooked in 41 minutesreplaced byWadein 74′minutes
  • 23rowing
  • 27Vanhaevermaet
  • 12Harriesreplaced byWellingsin 90+1′minutes
  • 10will do
  • 28WoodhamBooked in 45 minutes


  • 2Bryson
  • 7Wellings
  • 11Wade
  • 17Caldwell
  • 18jane
  • 30Poulter
  • 33Belardi-Tuson

Arsenal Women

training 4-3-3

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 26Wienroither
  • 3Wubben Moy
  • 7Catley
  • 15McCabeBooked in 61 minutesreplaced bybeattiein 83′minutes
  • 10little
  • 13Wältireplaced byMaanumin 67′minutes
  • 11Edemareplaced byNobbsin 66′minutes
  • 9mead
  • 25Blackstenius
  • 19FordBooked in 64 minutesreplaced byquicklyin 66′minutes


  • 5beattie
  • 8Nobbs
  • 12Maanum
  • 16Maritz
  • 17quickly
  • 18Marckes
  • 23Iwabuchi
  • 59Agyemang
  • 62Reid

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