Live Commentary: Everton 3-1 Reading - as it happened

Everton's Leighton Baines is congratulated by team mates after scoring his team's second in the FA Cup 5th round replay against Oldham on February 26, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Premier League game between Everton and Reading this afternoon.

Everton have beaten Reading 3-1 at Goodison Park, getting their top four ambitions back on track.

After a tight first half in which both sides had chances, Everton took the lead just before the break through Maruoane Fellaini.

In the second half they improved, dominating the ball in the wide areas, with Steven Pienaar exerting an increasing influence on the game.

They double their lead after an hour thanks to Pienaar and went three up thanks to the equally impressive Kevin Mirallas.

Reading did get a goal back late on but it was only a consolation goal. The Royals remain in the bottom three, with their closest rivals Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa yet to play this weekend.

See how the action unfolded with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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2.03pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Premier League match between Everton and Reading.

2.05pmHopefully it will be a good game between two teams with very different priorities. Everton are looking to get their top-four ambitions back on track, while Reading will be looking to climb out of the bottom three.

2.06pmThe Royals have only won once on their travels this season, while Everton have only been beaten at Goodison Park by Chelsea.

2.09pmBoth teams have lost their last two league games and the Toffees have actually only won one of their last six. Maybe Reading can spring a surprise today and pick up all three points.

2.10pmSome early team news is already coming through...

2.12pmEVERTON: Mucha; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini, Jelavic

2.13pmREADING: Taylor; Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; McAnuff, Akpan, Leigertwood, Kebe; Hunt, Le Fondre

2.15pmOn the Everton substitutes' bench are: Springthorpe, Heitinga, Neville, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Anichebe

2.16pmReading's substitutes: Henly, Gunter, Morrison, McCleary, Karacan, Robson-Kanu, Blackman


2.18pmSo, as expected, Tim Howard misses out for Everton but Marouane Fellaini is fit enough to return. Nikica Jelavic also starts ahead of Victor Anichebe, who has been in good form.

2.20pmReading meanwhile, bring in Stuart Taylor in goal and Alex Pearce at the back. Both strikers should be fresh as well, after missing last week's defeat to Wigan.

2.22pmI think David Moyes will definitely be looking for a clean sheet today. Everton have not kept one for seven games in all competitions.

2.26pmSorry Reading fans, I can only see an Everton win this afternoon. Back at Goodison after two away defeats in the league, Moyes will demand a strong performance.

2.28pmThat said, it is refreshing to see Reading play with two strikers. Their away form has been poor this season and Brian McDermott clearly thinks the best way to rectify this is to attack the home team.

2.31pmIt is interesting to see that Darron Gibson starts for Everton. Moyes admitted this week that the midfielder would need an operation at some point on his thigh, but he hopes to manage it until the end of the season.

2.34pmIt is also worth pointing out that Reading beat Everton in the reverse fixture - their first win of the season back in November - but have only won four times since then.

2.36pmAnother sub plot involves Hope Akpan. The midfielder came through the youth ranks at Everton before moving to Crawley Town. Reading signed him in January and I, for one, have been impressed with his adaptation to the Premier League.

2.40pmIf Reading can get a point, or even three, they could find themselves out of the relegation zone by the end of the weekend. Their closest rivals Aston Villa and Wigan face equally tough games in Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, so a good result here could go a long way for the Royals.

2.45pmReading's top scorer Adam Le Fondre did not score at all in February. It will be difficult up against Sylvain Distin and Phil Jegielka, but the striker is probably due one.

2.49pmIt is a massive boost for Everton to have their top scorer Fellaini available. His partner up front though has not found the net since the FA Cup win over Cheltenham Town at the start of November.

2.50pmPerhaps it is a bit of a risk by Moyes, dropping the in-form Victor Anichebe for Jelavic, but maybe he is just keeping his players on their toes.

2.56pmNot long to go until kickoff now. I said earlier that I fancied Everton to win this one but the first goal will be very important. Neither team has tasted victory too often recently and could get nervous if they go behind.

2.59pmWorth remembering that Everton have their reserve goalkeeper in today as well. Jan Mucha is a good deputy but Howard could be a big miss for the Toffees.

0 minAnd Everton get us underway at Goodison Park...

1 minThe home side start very brightly. A good move down the left between Baines and Pienaar leaves the left-back free to cross the ball in. Jelavic mistimes his header though, showing his lack of confidence at the moment.

3 minSome more good play from Everton. Mirallas crosses the ball in and Pienaar plays a lovely one-two with Jelavic with his head. The defender gets there first though and clears the ball. Good start from Everton!


5 minSUBSTITUTION: An early enforced change for Everton. Jagielka is replaced by Johnny Heitinga after a late tackle from Le Fondre. The Reading striker is subsequently booked.

7 minMore Everton pressure. Coleman plays in Mirallas on the right but his cross is put behind. The resulting corner finds Jelavic but the goalkeeper collects the ball from his knock-down.

9 minReading create their first half-chance. Kebe robs Osman in midfield and runs the whole length of the pitch before tamely shooting wide.

11 minAnother Reading effort. Le Fondre wins a free kick out of Heitinga on the edge of the box. Ian Harte steps up but Mucha catches his shot relatively easily.

13 minThe away side seem to have ridden out that early Everton storm now. They are keeping the ball well and looking to get their wingers involved at every opportunity.

15 minA long ball into the box is flicked down for Kebe, Mucha blocks the ball though and the Reading winger kicks the ball out of play before going down holding his groin. It looked like it was going to be 1-0 to the away side there!

16 minKebe down receiving treatment now. It looks like he is going to go off...

18 minSUBSTITUTION: Hal Robson-Kanu is the man to replace Kebe. That's a shame for Reading as Kebe has looked a threat and has been in good form.

19 minCHANCE! A Reading corner find Le Fondre free in the box, but he smashes his shot against the post from close range and Everton clear. It should be 1-0!

22 minReading are putting the home side under some pressure now. A couple of free kicks and corner amount to nothing though and Everton regain their composure.

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25 minThe game has become a bit scrappy now. Both teams are trying to get the ball forward too quickly and it's becoming end to end, but not in a good way.

28 minEverton are trying to pass the ball a bit better now. Osman and Pienaar are starting to get involved and they look comfortable again.

30 minCHANCE! Jelavic is put through after a flick-on but shoots straight at Taylor. He really should have scored.

32 minColeman spins away from his marker and plays in Pienaar. The ball is poked away by Le Fondre but a goal-kick is given. Everton are disappointed but they are looking much better now.

35 minAnother Reading free kick is won in the box but this time Pearce volleys over. Everton then go up the other end where a clever Baines pass finds Mirallas, whose cross is cleared away.

38 minEverton are definitely in the ascendancy now. They are passing the ball well but can't quite find the killer pass in the final third.

41 minReading mount a good counter-attack, releasing Robson-Kanu but his shot is blocked, as is the subsequent cross before Harte's corner goes straight out of play.

42 minGOAL! Fellaini puts Everton ahead just before half time. Coleman does brilliantly on the right to be McAnuff and chip the ball up. Fellaini rises above everyone and nods the ball in.

45 minGibson gives the ball straight to Hunt in the Everton half. The Reading striker runs away from Osman before shooting wide.

45+2 minFellaini volleys the ball from the corner flag and almost catches Taylor out. He flicks it over though and Everton have a corner right at the end of the half.

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45+3 minHALF-TIME: Everton 1-0 Reading

3.50pmEverton probably just about deserve the half-time lead. They have had more chances than Reading but neither side has played particularly well.

3.53pmThe goal should relieve some of the pressure on Everton and I expect them to play better in the second half. Their defending from Reading's set pieces has not been good enough either.

3.55pmI doubt Jelavic will last much longer today. He looks very low on confidence and while Everton's service has been far from excellent, his touch and movement just aren't there.

3.59pmAs far as Reading are concerned they will need to keep plugging away. They haven't done an awful lot wrong in that first half, and looked threatening for short periods within it.

4.04pmThe teams are back out and we're almost ready for the second half. Reading will get the game underway.

45 minReading start well and put the Everton back four under pressure straight away, winning an early corner.

46 minThe corner beats everyone including the goalkeeper. The ball falls to Pearce at the back post but he can't control it and Everton get the goal kick.

49 minNews from that earlier Jagielka injury is that the defender has been taken to hospital for stitches on an ankle gash.

51 minPienaar almost releases Mirallas through the middle after a great run, but the ball runs through to the goalkeeper.

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53 minCHANCE! And what a chance! Osman scoops the ball delightfully over the Reading defence for Jelavic, who rounds the goalkeeper before fluffing his shot. Fellaini gets the rebound but his shot is blocked. A melee ensues and Everton seemed to have a good penalty shout turned down.

56 minSome more good play on the Everton right-hand side sees Coleman cross the ball for Fellaini but Reading clear. The Everton pressure is building again.

58 minAgain Coleman gets free on the right, he plays in Pienaar who lays the ball back to Gibson. His cross finds Fellaini who heads over. Another good move from Everton.

59 minGOAL! Everton go two up! Fellaini plays Pienaar down the right. The winger runs at the defence before cutting inside and smashing the ball past Taylor with his left foot. Great goal, and it's been coming.

61 minCHANCE! It should be three! Coleman's cross goes past everyone and finds Mirallas at the back post. He beats Kelly before shooting just wide. This could get tough for Reading now.

64 minReading have a couple of corners in quick succession. They seem to have stemmed the flow a little bit, but Everton are comfortable.

66 minGOAL! Mirallas gets the goal he deserves and Everton are three-nil ahead. Good play between the Belgian and Baines on the left, before the ball breaks to Pienaar who reverses it back into Mirallas's path and he makes no mistake with the finish.

68 minMucha makes a great double save as Reading look to get back in it, and Everton clear the ball.

70 minColeman and Pienaar again with some good play on the right allows the right-back to cross for Jelavic who is whiskers away. All Everton need now is a goal for the Croat and it's the perfect day.

73 minAnother good save from Mucha. McAnuff cuts across from the left and shoots well but the goalkeeper pushes it around the post.


74 minSUBSTITUTION: Anichebe comes on for Osman. I imagine that Fellaini will drop back into midfield as Everton look to add more misery to Reading's day.

77 minEverton almost score again before Reading counter-attack and win a corner. Can they get themselves back in the game?

78 minNo. Everton clear and the game seems to be all but over. The home side have taken their foot off the gas somewhat but remain solid at the back.

81 minSUBSTITUTION Pienaar goes off to a standing ovation. He is replaced by Hitzlsperger just as Reading are starting to get more of the ball, without ever threatening.

84 minGOAL! Robson-Kanu gets one back for Reading. A good one-two between Harte and McAnuff releases the left-back. He crosses and Robson-Kanu heads past Mucha. It is probably no more than a consolation but a there's nervy last five minutes ahead for the home team.

86 minCHANCE! Everton almost wrap it up. Anichebe runs clear of Kelly on the right. He chooses to shoot when Jelavic is well placed but beats the goalkeeper, only for Harte to clear it off the line. Unlucky!

89 minA good move involving Baines and Anichebe sees Everton find Jelavic in the box, but he is crowded out and Reading get it away.

90+2 minEverton comfortable in the last few minutes, passing the ball around with ease, and the referee blows for full time.

90+3 minFULL-TIME: Everton 3-1 Reading

4.53pmEverton deserve the win. After edging a tight first half, they dominated the second period and have put the pressure on Arsenal ahead of tomorrow's North London derby, in the race for fourth.

Spurs striker Manu Adebayor leaps to score a header against Reading on January 1, 2013
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