CHELSEA withstood a spirited comeback from Reading to restore a three-point lead over Arsenal.
Fran Kirby put the Blues ahead with a quick free-kick as they sealed a 3-2 win on a snowy evening in Kingsmeadow.
The fighting performance of Emma Hayes’ team sees them continue at the top of the table.
And title rivals Arsenal, Manchester United and Man City all have a game against the Blues.
Royals boss Kelly Chambers shared her dismay at the game’s opening goal being allowed to stand.
Her comments came after footage showed a Blues player in an offside position.
Chambers told Sky Sports: “The first goal just drained us.
“We’ve had a good 30 minutes where we’ve been solid and we’ve caused problems for Chelsea but the Office, we talk about it week in and week out but it’s costing the teams.”
After the game, Hayes spoke about her support for using VAR in the game.
Currently the system is not used on WSL games.
The Chelsea boss told Sky Sports: I didn’t even see the goal but the lads told me it was offside. Happens.
“I’m a supporter of VAR because if [mistakes] lead to goals, I can totally understand how every team in the league feels about that.
“It goes in turns and roundabouts – it went in our favor this week, maybe not another week. But we need to improve on it.”
The Blues caught Reading cold in the 16th minute when Kirby shoved the ball home after the hosts responded quickly with their free-kick
And summer newcomer Jelena Cankovic showed a clinical performance in attack in the first half and scored two goals within four minutes.
But Reading hit back when Sanne Troeslgaard fired a low shot from under Ann-Katrin Berger with half an hour to go.
And Amalie Eikeland made it 3-2 a minute later, hitting the near post.
The hosts looked to seal victory and maintain their lead at the top of the table by taking on Albanian side Vllaznia in the Champions League on Friday.
Elsewhere, Vivianne Miedema opened the floodgates for Arsenal as they fought back after a goal to defeat Aston Villa 4-1.
Kirsty Hanson struck from 20 yards and put the hosts ahead in the sixth minute at Villa Park.
But Carla Ward’s fighters saw the game level after Rachel Corsie’s own goal.
A Miedema volley gave the Gunners a 2-1 lead before Katie McCabe helped them double their lead with a tap-in.
And Jordan Nobbs capped the win with the final goal of the game, six minutes from time.
The win pushed Arsenal Man United into second place behind Chelsea.
And Hawa Cissoko marked her return from a five-game suspension by helping West Ham defeat Tottenham 2-0.
Goals in the first and second halves gave the Irons maximum points away from home.
Kerys Harrops’ challenge to Kate Longhurst resulted in West Ham being awarded a penalty just before half-time.
But Dagny Brynjarsdottir failed in the 47th minute from the penalty spot.
In the second half, the Icelandic ace made up for his miss by firing a rocket shot home in the 49th minute.
Spurs attempted to fight their way back towards the closing stages of games at their home ground of Breyer Group Stadium.
But they were caught on the counterattack when centre-back Cissoko sent a battered shot over Tottenham keeper Rebecca Spencer in the 83rd minute.
Irons boss Paul Konchesky said: “It was excellent for Hawa. It (the gate) has been a long time coming.
“I didn’t think she would make it.
“I’m really happy that she scored today, but I thought she was fantastic at the other end of the field, defending the box with the back four and our goalkeeper.”
The result saw Rehanne Skinner’s side drop to seventh place ahead of their midweek clash against Everton.
And Konchesky’s side overtook Aston Villa for fifth place in the last league game before Christmas.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6893707/chelsea-reading-jelena-cankovic-wsl/ Cankovic scores twice as Chelsea hold Reading back after Arsenal and West Ham enjoy away victories