Chelsea Women’s winning streak continued as Reading were beaten by Ji So-Yun’s 50th goal for the club.

In a game short on clear-cut chances, Ji took the one that mattered on 49 minutes, sending her side above the Royals into fourth place in the WSL in the process.

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Manager Emma Hayes praised her side’s display at the final whistle, claiming it was one of their best performances of the season despite the non-resounding nature of the scoreline.

She continued: “I thought we dominated first and second balls, I thought we used the width well and improved the longer the game went on, and the only thing that flatters them is the scoreline.”

It was a tight affair early on, with Chelsea enjoying the majority of the possession but struggling to find the final pass when in and around the penalty area.

They had the two best chances of the half though, Magdalena Eriksson smashing against the post from close range early on, then Ramona Bachmann seeing her shot cleared off the line with the goal gaping on 35 minutes.

Improvement was definitely needed at the break, and Hayes must have told her players this in the dressing room, as they came out all guns blazing in the first few minutes of the second period.

They had already got in behind the Reading defence twice in the four minutes before Ji finally broke the deadlock, finding the bottom corner of the net after some intricate play in the box involving Ramona Bachmann.

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Chelsea had the goal they needed, so it was therefore forgivable that they took their foot off the gas for much of the remainder of the half. But they still could have increased their advantage, Bethany England and Karen Carney forcing saves out of Grace Moloney in the Reading goal late on.

The most impressive part of Chelsea’s performance was their defensive stability, as they were very rarely threatened by the away side, who only forced Hedvig Lindahl into two saves during the entire game. The clean sheet was their 13th in 14 games, and Hayes reiterated the importance of a strong defence.

She said: “If you want to win the coveted prizes, you have to be solid defensively, and that will be the backbone of everything we do.”