Match Analysis: Everton 3-1 Reading

Everton's Kevin Mirallas celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Reading on March 2, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you analysis from the match between Everton and Reading in the Premier League this afternoon.

Everton cruised to victory against Reading in the Premier League this afternoon.

The Toffees edged a tight first half before taking the lead through Marouane Fellaini four minutes from the break.

In the second period they were dominant. A goal on the hour mark from Steven Pienaar made it comfortable before Kevin Mirallas put the game beyond doubt with a well taken finish.

Reading did get a goal back late on through Hal Robson-Kanu, but it was no more than a consolation.

So, was the result a fair one? Sports Mole takes a close look at the action.

Match statistics:

Shots 18
On target 12
Possession 63%
Corners 9
Fouls 8

Shots 12
On target 6
Possession 37%
Corners 10
Fouls 8

Was the result fair?

Yes, it certainly was. The first half was close, and Reading created their fair share of chances, but after Fellaini's opener the Toffees never looked back. Adam Le Fondre did hit the post and Jan Mucha made a couple of decent saves but Everton were always in the driving seat.

Everton's performance

David Moyes's men performed well in patches. They were average in the first half and defended several Reading set pieces poorly, but they improved after the break and created chance after chance as the game went on.

Reading's performance

Reading's performance wasn't too bad. It is hard to criticise them, but after doing so well in the first half, a lapse in concentration allowed Everton to nick the lead. In the second period the ball did not stick long enough up front and the defence was under severe pressure for long periods.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Steven Pienaar: After a quiet first period, the South African sprang to life in the second half, scoring a great goal after cutting in from the right and producing an equally good pass for Mirallas to wrap the game up. The Belgian ran Pienaar close for man of the match but the latter was that little but more decisive, as recognised by the fans with his standing ovation when he was substituted.

Referee performance

Anthony Taylor did not have an awful lot to do in the game. There were no bad challenges and little to make him work. Everton seemed to have a decent penalty shout turned down but, on the whole, it was an easy game to officiate.

Biggest gaffe

Nikica Jelavic had another day to forget. The Croat badly needs a goal and is lacking in confidence. This was proven when, after rounding the goalkeeper following Leon Osman's delightful pass, he fluffed his shot. He was under pressure from the keeper but really should have scored.

What next?

Everton: The Toffees have an FA Cup quarter-final with Wigan Athletic to look forward to next Saturday before facing Manchester City in the league.

Reading: Reading have a huge relegation clash with Aston Villa next weekend, followed by tough trips to Manchester United and Arsenal.

Everton's Kevin Mirallas celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Reading on March 2, 2013
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