Tom Cairney opens the scoring to lay the foundations for Fulham’s stroll to victory against Reading

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney both struck twice as Fulham cruised to victory against 10-man Reading to go fourth in the Championship.

Cairney curled in the opener before John Swift was sent off for two bookings after just 20 minutes.

Mitrovic struck twice before the half-hour mark and Cairney grabbed his second with a fine lob.

Reading’s Yakou Meite curled in a 25-yard effort with a minute left, but it was little consolation for the well-beaten Royals, who drop a place to 21st.

The hosts had not lost in six league and play-off games at home to the west Londoners – a run stretching back to when both clubs were in the Premier League in 2008.

But the Whites took control at the Madejski early on when midfielder Cairney grabbed his third goal in three games.

Things quickly got worse for the hosts as Swift, already booked for a foul on Bobby Reid, made a rash challenge on Denis Odoi and was dismissed.

Fulham’s top scorer Mitrovic then helped himself to his sixth and seventh goals of the campaign, with two close-range finishes in three minutes well before the break.

Cairney added his second in fine style, lifting the ball over goalkeeper Rafael Cabral from 35 yards to put Fulham 4-0 up with more than 20 minutes left.

Meite’s fine late strike denied the visitors a clean sheet, but the win extended their unbeaten run to five games.

Reading boss Jose Gomes told BBC Radio Berkshire: “It was a very tough night for us.

“We planned the game well and I thought we could get a good result

“We knew we faced a Premier League squad, with a lot of good players.

“After one mistake we conceded a goal and with one player less it was very difficult to turn the result, considering the quality Fulham has.”

Fulham boss Scott Parker told BBC Radio London: “I’m pleased to come away from tonight with an outstanding performance.

“I felt we were first-class from the minute it started until the end, against a resilient side. We moved the ball and were clinical in attack.

“Tom and Aleksandar are going to be key for us, alongside everyone.

“Defensively as well, we worked together as a unit and we are strong in that sense. Confidence is high and the lads are in a good place.”

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