Premier League: Everton 3 Reading 1
By Football News
Everton maintained their push for European football next season with a resounding 3-1 win over Reading at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Goals from Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas gave the Toffees victory after David Moyes' side had lost their previous two league fixtures.
Hal Robson-Kanu scored the visitors' goal late on, but Reading have now lost eight of their past 10 games away from home.
Everton made two changes to the side that eased past Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup, Jan Mucha replacing Tim Howard in goal and Marouane Fellaini coming in for Phil Neville.
Reading meanwhile made three changes with Stuart Taylor, Noel Hunt and Adam Le Fondre replacing Adam Federici, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jem Karacan in the 11 beaten 3-0 by Wigan Athletic last weekend.
Jimmy Kebe needed to be replaced 19 minutes in for Reading after the lively winger picked up a groin injury and had to make way for Robson-Kanu.
Reading were almost in front shortly after through Le Fondre, the striker rattling the woodwork from just inside the box after a corner.
Nikica Jelavic then found his way in behind the defence from a great long ball but the out-of-form striker drove his shot against the legs of Taylor and away for a corner.
Mirallas very nearly scored one of the goals of the season just after the half-hour mark, bursting forward from the halfway line before firing a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that Taylor somehow managed to save.
Fellaini put the hosts in front after 42 minutes, heading home from close range after a great right-wing cross from Seamus Coleman, putting Everton up 1-0 at the break.
Everton's Belgian contingent of Fellaini and Mirallas both went close before Jelavic and Fellaini failed to convert during a frenzied scramble in the Reading penalty area.
Pienaar got Everton’s second after 58 minutes, collecting the ball on the halfway line from Fellaini before charging towards the Reading goal. The winger cut inside on his left foot at the edge of the area before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top left corner of the goal to make it 2-0.
It was almost three for the Toffees a few minutes later when Mirallas' tremendous close control in the area saw him drill past the far post where Fellaini was running for a tap-in.
The visitors were appealing for a penalty when a cross struck the arm of Sylvain Distin, but the referee did not give the spot kick.
A terrific performance from Mirallas deserved a goal and the winger got it after 66 minutes, hooking the ball in at the near post after Pienaar's through ball.
Jobi McAnuff had Mucha sprawling at the left hand post with a great shot before the goalkeeper stopped Hunt scoring from Robson-Kanu's cross.
Darron Gibson and McAnuff then both went close with great efforts at either end just a minute apart.
Robson-Kanu pulled one back for Reading late on with a close range header from Ian Harte's cross before Victor Anichebe had an effort cleared off the line.