Reading Women Manager Kelly Chambers before the start of the match Reading Women v Manchester United Women, WSL football match, Adams Park Stadium, High Wycombe, UK - 02 Feb 2020 Photo: Robin Parker for The FA

Reading boss Chambers highlights missing intensity and physicality in Chelsea defeat

Chelsea romped to a 5-0 victory over Reading at The Madejski Stadium on Sunday afternoon with former Royal Fran Kirby netting four of The Blues’ five goals.

It was a disappointing result for the hosts who usually play so well against many of the top sides in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

During the post-match press conference in which FA Women’s Super League Full-Time were present, Reading boss Kelly Chambers was most disappointed with the ease in which Chelsea were able to run out 5-0 winners at The Madejski Stadium. Chambers side were unable to build on their pre-Christmas 3-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion and were left to watch that  Kirby masterclass on a cold Sunday afternoon in Berkshire.

Commenting on her side’s performance, Chambers said “I’m disappointed, I felt we were way off our pre-Christmas performances.

“We made two mistakes, top sides like Chelsea are going to punish us.”

Chambers recognised the strength of the Reading philosophy which she believed had produced strong performances towards the end of 2020 and she wasn’t prepared to compliment Chelsea by making a change to the system or style.

She added “We didn’t want to change the way we were playing, we have built up to a really good place.”

Chambers was full of compliments for ex-Royal Kirby. When asked by FA Women’s Super League Full-Time about the striker being able to find space in the box and score two headers, she replied “That’s not one of her strengths.

“It was disappointing to see it go against us but it’s great to see Fran back on the pitch

“We didn’t prevent Kirby from getting shots off and we didn’t have that aggressive nature that we normally do.”

The Reading boss was keen to support the words of counterpart Emma Hayes surrounding the increased level of COVID-19 cases that postponed many league fixtures echoing the need to ‘keep games elite’. This came after Hayes had pleaded with those involved in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League to behave and conduct themselves properly.

Looking forward to the fixture against Arsenal on Sunday, Chambers wants to work on areas that were missing from the Chelsea performance. Highlighting her side’s failures against the South West Londoners, she said “Why didn’t we have our intensity and aggression.

“We have our styles of play and philosophy and we didn’t have that today, we have to re-find that.”

Reading will be hoping that the Arsenal fixture goes ahead as planned with The Gunners being one of the sides to have their latest game postponed due to COVID-19 last weekend.

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