By Spy Uganda
Fighting for their lives, Reading didn’t start this game particularly badly but Chelsea’s quality carved out a number of early opportunities. After Sam Kerr surprisingly missed from close range and Royals goalkeeper Grace Moloney denied Erin Cuthbert spectacularly, it was Kerr who broke the deadlock inside 20 minutes when she headed home Guro Reiten’s cross.
Reading had a glorious opportunity to respond almost immediately but Justin Vanhaevermaet got her header all wrong and the Blues would be 2-0 up before the break instead. It was Reiten who got the goal, pouncing on a defensive error to go one-on-one with Moloney before finishing coolly through her legs. Kerr then put the cherry on the cake in the final minutes of the game as Chelsea retained their status as champions of England.
This was a fantastic way for Reiten to cap an amazing individual season, with a goal and an assist to her name before half-time. Only Beth Mead, in the 2018-19 season, has registered more assists in a single WSL season than the 11 Reiten managed this year, a truly excellent performer in this title-winning side.
The big loser: It was an afternoon that conveyed the two sides to football perfectly. While Chelsea celebrating their incredible success, Reading were left devastated as their demotion to the Championship was confirmed. It brings to an end an eight-year stay in the top-flight, with them finishing as high as fourth in the 2017-18 season.
What Next? That wraps up the season for Chelsea, who end it with a domestic double after lifting the Women’s FA Cup earlier this month, too. It’s the fifth time Hayes’ side have achieved that feat in just nine years. Now, they’ll hope to make additions in the summer transfer window that can see them translate that domestic dominance into a European triumph.