Three goals in a 30 minute stretch around halftime gave Everton enough of a cushion for a comfortable win against struggling Reading, putting the Royals in further danger of failing to escape the relegation battle. The Toffees were rocked early on by the 5th-minute departure of Phil Jagielka with an injury, but despite losing their stoutest defender they still started well and were rewarded for their efforts in the 42nd minute when the menacing figure of Marouane Fellaini rose above a crowd of yellow shirts to nod Seamus Coleman's cross past Stuart Taylor.
Reading were put in further trouble after the interval when Steven Pienaar drove at their defence before smashing a left-footed howitzer into the top corner from outside the box, and any threat of a comeback was avoided seven minutes later. Pienaar was the provider this time, playing a lovely through ball for Kevin Mirallas to race onto and slot past Taylor to make it 3-0.
The visitors got a consolation goal through Hal Robson-Kanu's fine header, but ultimately a 3-1 loss isn't really much better for Reading than 3-0. Everton, meanwhile, will be watching the North London Derby with great interest as they look to steal a march in the race for the top four.