Chelsea ensured they will spend the winter break three points clear at the Women’s Super League summit by holding off Reading at a snowy Kingsmeadow.
Fran Kirby’s early finish set the tone as the hosts dominated the first half, with Jelena Cankovic scoring twice.
Cankovic stroked in after Johanna Rytting Kaneryd struck a post and headed in a cross four minutes later.
But Reading then struck twice in two second-half minutes, through Sanne Troelsgaard and Amalie Eikeland.
Troelsgaard’s low shot squirmed under Ann-Katrin Berger following some uncertain defending before Eikeland fired in off a post as their side threatened to end Chelsea’s eight-match winning league run.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes defended Berger but said her side had let their standards slip after surging into a commanding lead.
“I’m not going to target individuals,” said Hayes.
“As a team, I felt we were complacent and Ann has been a top goalkeeper for a long time.
“While she will have wanted to do better, we did not do well enough as a team in the second half.”
Reading were aggrieved by Kirby’s opener, as provider Kaneryd appeared to be offside when she collected the ball.