WSL: Reading 0 Arsenal 0
PUBLISHED: 19:11 28 January 2018
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Reading and Arsenal played out an energetic goalless draw under the watchful gaze of newly-appointed Lionesses boss Phil Neville.
The former Manchester United player, who was named as England manager in midweek, was in attendance as the Royals and the Gunners couldn’t be separated at Adams Park.
A tense first half provided limited opportunities for both sides, although Jordan Nobbs ensured Grace Moloney was alert with an early shot in the opening exchanges.
Vivianne Miedema saw her header saved by the excellent Moloney just minutes later after some strong work in wide areas from the visitors.
Lauren Bruton fired a header over Sari van Veenendal’s bar on the approach to half-time as Reading looked to grab a foothold in the game.
The second half saw the hosts press for an opener as Rachel Rowe’s whipped cross evaded all In the Arsenal box.
Bruton and Natasha Harding combined once again for the hosts, with the latter failing to hit the target with the goal gaping.
The middle portion of the second half saw a spate of bookings, with neither side able to gain full control of the game.
With 15 minutes to go, Reading carved out their best opportunity of the game, with Fara Williams picking the ball up in midfield and firing a 35-yard rasping drive, which was held by van Veenendaal.
Just minutes later, Brooke Chaplen stung the palms of the Arsenal keeper once again with a low drive while van Veenendaal also saved a left-footed curler from Rachel Furness.
A frantic finish saw Bruton go close with a long-range effort and Miedema strike the side-netting for the visitors.
Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro said: “It is really important that we are being more than competitive and are working hard for the shirt – competition and being a team that is competitive should be the minimum.
“On the second-half performance, I feel we dropped two points.
“We created enough to finish the game off – it lacked an important part of finishing.
“You have your good days and bad days, if you give our players these opportunities again, they will score them.
“We want to build a good rhythm in the league and will take every challenge as it comes.”
Arsenal (4-3-3): Van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Williamson, Rose, Quinn, Janssen, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Mead, Miedema, O’Reilly. Unused subs: Moorhouse, McCabe, James, Scott, Carter, Kuyken, Rose.
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