Goals on goals
Needing less than five minutes to claim first blood at home, the Gunners steamed into the lead with a well taken header from Miedema. Not content with one, Nobbs doubled the advantage minutes later, having hounded Kirsty Pearce in the box before wrapping her shot around Grace Moloney.
Despite a slight lull after taking a commanding early lead, the hosts continued to show their control over the match. Switching off at the back, Arsenal recovered well with Pauline Peyraud-Magnin making herself big to deny Fara Williams who couldn’t pull out a better finish.
A delicate touch from Mead was enough to take Becky Jane out of the equation and leave the attacker enough time to roll the ball to her right foot before curling it around the ‘keeper and just inside of the far post.
Having netted their third just before the break, the hosts only needed five minutes to further their advantage after the change of ends. Smothering the Royals in the box, it was again Arsenal’s potent attack that proved too much, Miedema’s side-footed effort enough to leave the net rippling again. A flowing team move that culminated in van de Donk poking the ball home from close-range bringing about the fifth goal of the day in Borehamwood.
Miedema's hat trick rounded off in the dying minutes, the opportunities to keep punishing the opposition presenting themselves from kick-off to whistle.
If there is any substance in the chant, “She scores when she wants,” then every Arsenal player wants to score all the damn time this season.
For the Gunners, the goals have flown in with a blistering regularity this term. Relentless in attack, like a team that’s started their day out with Ready Brek then chugged a few cans of a popular energy drink that purportedly gives you wings just before kick off. The Gunners have not slacked off this season, scything through defences like Moses in front of a puddle, the waters have always parted for Arsenal in the box this season.
Historically not just one of the best teams to have come out of England, but a side that has consistently struggled with a multitude of injuries, the lack of squad depth could be the only thing that unravels Arsenal this campaign.
For Reading, it almost seems as if they are suffering the hangover from overachieving last season. The Royals one of the most impressive teams last season, on an upward curve throughout the season – and arguably since their arrival in the top flight – yet things have been far from regal this term. For Kelly Chambers, it might not be time to go back to the drawing board, but she may do well to take a half step back and wonder if a semi-return to basics would do the trick.
Joe Montemurro’s first successes with Arsenal were subtle ones, the Gunners that had rather fallen from grace finding their feet fast under their new manager. The defence the first thing that seemed to change at London Colney, the clean sheets fast racking up for Sari van Veenendaal. The team far from firing on all cylinders, the wins modest.
The summer break the perfect tonic for the team, Miedema now taking to the pitch as a fully fit and focused striker rather than an attacker trying to play through a niggly injury. At the risk of picking up her own Will Grigg chant, the Arsenal team is far from hinged around the rangy centre forward. Superb in every inch of her game, Miedema certainly lit the pitch up but it was, as always, the work of her teammates that couldn’t be overlooked, whether the industrious midfield with talismanic Nobbs, or anchored by Lia Wälti. Or Lisa Evans working the right channel all match, or Mead having made a home for herself out wide, or van de Donk and Katie McCabe’s endless movement. The defence rarely troubled, but the team in complete harmony, Montemurro’s style imprinted from back to front.