Result: Everton ease past Reading at Goodison Park

Everton cruise to a 3-1 win over Reading to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Reading have failed to gain ground on their relegation rivals following a 3-1 loss to Everton.

Everton started brightly, with Nikica Jelavic heading just wide from eight yards as Reading struggled to assert themselves on the contest.

Reading manager Brian McDermott during his side's match against Everton on March 2, 2013© PA Photos

However, Reading had two opportunities to take the lead midway through the first period but failed to take advantage of the chances.

Adam Le Fondre fired his shot against the post just minutes before Alex Pearce drilled an effort wide from close range.

Everton's Marouane Fellaini scores the opening goal in his side's match against Reading on March 2, 2013© PA Photos

The Toffees punished their opponents on the stroke of half time as Marouane Fellaini found space at the back post to head home Seamus Coleman's pinpoint cross.

Everton grew in confidence following the break, with Fellaini being denied a second goal by a block from Ian Harte.

Everton's Steven Pienaar scores his side's second goal against Reading on March 2, 2013© PA Photos

David Moyes didn't have to wait much longer to see his side double their lead as Steven Pienaar created space for himself inside the box before firing a shot past Stuart Taylor.

The result was put beyond doubt just six minutes later when Pienaar released Kevin Mirallas, who raced away from the Reading defence before slotting the ball past Taylor at the near post.

Reading were able to snatch a consolation goal just minutes before the final whistle as Hal Robson-Kanu beat his marker to head in Harte's cross but a dramatic fightback was never on the cards as the hosts cruised to three points.

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
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