Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney both bagged braces as Fulham ran out as comfortable victors against ten men Reading after John Swift’s early dismissal.
Cairney opened the scoring with a stunning strike before Swift was given a second yellow card in the 19th minute. Mitrovic notched two before half-time and Cariney added a fourth in the second half to condemn the Royals to a heavy defeat.
Yakou Meite, who was rewarded with a new contact earlier in the day, hit a brilliant strike in the 89th minute to claw back a consolation goal for the Royals.
Reading drop to 21st in the Championship and could potentially slip into the relegation zone after tomorrow night’s fixtures.
Fulham enjoyed an early spell of possession as Bobby Decordova-Reid flashed a speculative long range effort over the crossbar.
Reading then had their first chance of the game as Yakou Meite broke strongly from the right wing and switched the ball out to Josh Barrett who returned a smart pass to Meite, but the Ivorian’s shot was parried away by Marcus Bettinelli.
John Swift flew into a tackle on Decordova-Reid which saw him receive the first caution of the game, with both sets of players involved in a fracas after the reckless tackle.
Aleksandar Mitrovic then had his first sight of goal as Ovie Ejaria gave the ball away cheaply to allow the Serbian to try his luck from the edge of the box, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Having dominated the early proceedings, Fulham went in front in the 12th minute when Stefan Johansen found Tom Cairney on the edge of the box, and the Fulham skipper picked out the top corner with a stunning strike.
Reading’s evening then went from bad to worse, with Swift receiving his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card. He lunged in on Denis Odoi after losing control of the ball which saw the Royals reduced to 10 men.
With an uphill task ahead of them, Fulham then doubled their advantage as Anthony Knockaert sent in a cross which was met by the unmarked Mitrovic who steered the ball past Rafael.
Just two minutes later in the 28th minute, Mitrovic bagged his second of the game, scoring his seventh Championship goal of the season, as he tapped in Joe Bryan’s cross from close range to put the game out of reach of the Royals with less than half an hour played.
Reading created their best chance of the half two minutes before the break as George Puscas knocked Tim Ream off the ball and sprinted towards the opposition goal one on one against Alfie Mawson, but the Romanian forward could only hit his shot straight at the defender.
A demoralising first-half came to a close and Fulham almost added a fourth early in the second as Rafael rushed off his line to brilliantly to thwart Knockaert who found acres of space behind the Royals defence.
Reading battled to somehow try and claw a way back into the game as a determined Puscas broke into the box, but from an acute angle he could only send his effort high and wide.
Rafael then made another superb save to give the deficit down to three as he reacted quickly low to his right to keep out Mawson’s fierce effort just inside the box.
The Cottagers made it four in the 67th minute as a short back pass to Rafael was charged down by Mitrovic who blocked the clearance before Johansen lays the ball back for Cairney who lobs the ball over the stranded goalkeeper.
With the game already put to bed, Fulham took their foot off the gas and were satisfied to control possession in the final quarter of the game as Reading tried desperately but to find a consolation goal.
Meite cut in from the right wing and whipped a strike beyond the reach of Bettinelli to find the top left hand corner to score reduce the deficit to 4-1.
Next for Jose Gomes’ side is an away trip to Ashton Gate against Bristol City as they look to steer away from the relegation places.
Reading: Rafael, Richards, Morrison, Moore (c), Yiadom, Rinomhota, Ejaria (Olise 78′), Swift, Barrett (Boye 45′), Meite, Puscas (Joao 69′)
Subs: Walker, Miazga, McIntyre, Boye, Olise, Pele, Joao.
Fulham: Bettinelli, Odoi, Mawson, Johansen, Mitrovic, Cairney (c), Ream, Decordova-Reid, Arter, Bryan (Le Marchand 75′), Knockaert (Onomah 69′).
Subs: Rodak, Cavaleiro, Le Marchand, Reed, Onomah, Sessegnon, Kamara.