By Adam Shergold for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:01 BST, 1 October 2019 | Updated: 22:05 BST, 1 October 2019
Fulham can be ruthless enough with their myriad of attacking talents without needing a helping hand.
Reading’s John Swift did precisely that here and the inevitable result was the hammering Scott Parker’s side have been threatening for a while.
Two moments of madness from midfielder Swift - rash challenges on Bobby Decordova-Reid and then Denis Odoi 15 minutes apart - left Reading to contend with Fulham’s slick passing game with 10 men for 70 minutes.
Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney opened the scoring early on with a fine long-range strike
Reading saw midfielder John Swift sent off for a second yellow card after 20 minutes
With 25 minutes played, Aleksandar Mitrovic steered home his side's second of the night
And so it became the perfect evening for the Londoners: Two classy goals from captain Tom Cairney, talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic emphatically ending his goal drought and elevation into the play-off places.
Slowly but surely Fulham are beginning to look like the promotion challenging team we expected following an inconsistent start to the season.
To think the evening could have started so differently. It was Reading who saw the game’s first decent chance with Yakou Meite bulldozing his way into the Fulham box to test Marcus Bettinelli with an angled shot.
Fulham had completed 4,900 successful passes in their nine Championship fixture prior to this one - some way ahead of the 4,127 completed by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in second - and they soon clicked into their usual rhythm.
The Fulham captain is congratulated by his team-mates for his early long-range effort
The Serbian target man celebrates his second of the night to help Fulham to victory
Defender Tim Ream attempts to escape the attentions of Reading attacker George Puscas
Swift tried to disrupt it with a late tackle on Bobby Decordova-Reid close to the two technical areas that left all of a Fulham persuasion incensed. Referee Andy Woolmer