Match ends, Reading 0, Derby County 3.
Derby climbed to second in the Championship as two goals from Chris Martin and one from Jordon Ibe sealed victory over mid-table Reading.
Martin opened the scoring with a header from Jamie Ward's corner, but Glenn Murray hit the crossbar for Reading having also gone close earlier.
Ibe made it 2-0 before the break after cutting inside two players and finding the far corner of the net.
Martin sealed the victory when dinking over Adam Federici from close range.
The result put Derby just one point behind new leaders Watford, with Reading just five points above the bottom three.
Reading started well and Simon Cox's header from Hal Robson-Kanu's cross went over while Jamie Mackie's effort just dipped over the bar.
But Martin made it 1-0 with a simple goal, heading home from close range via the body of Robson-Kanu.
Murray's effort from Jake Taylor's cross was just wide and his glancing header from Oliver Norwood's corner hit the crossbar.
Ibe scored his second of the season after picking the ball up and cutting inside Chris Gunter before beating Federici to make it 2-0.
Martin should have made it three after half-time but he went for power rather than placement and sent an effort from close range over the bar.
Nick Blackman went close with a shot for Reading and shortly after forced a decent save from Lee Grant as Pavel Pogrebnyak fired the rebound into the side netting.
Murray's deflected effort also hit the side netting as Reading's frustration continued.
Martin ended any hopes of a comeback with a 79th-minute goal, holding off a Reading defender before lifting the ball over the legs of Federici for his ninth of the season.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins: "It's all about what you do in both penalty areas. You've got to be ruthless in one and resilient in the other. But for all the positive stuff going on for us, it's a bad scoreline.
"You can't hide away from that or gloss over it because it's about winning games of football. You can't concede the goals we've conceded. It's becoming a repetitive theme and we've got to sort it out."
Derby boss Steve McClaren: "Chris Martin could have scored a hat-trick, he should be walking home with the ball. He got a lot of goals last season and there's always a question mark as to if he can continue that. But he's doing that. He's really developed over the last year in terms of his professionalism and belief.
"There's not a bad team in the Championship and, against Reading, we had to dig in in the first 20 minutes. But we got through it, we survived, and then we opened them up and scored. The second half was all about control."
- 15HectorBooked at 43mins
- 11ObitaBooked at 84mins
- 19MackieSubstituted forPogrebnyakat 69'minutes
- 6NorwoodSubstituted forKuhlat 69'minutes
- 9Robson-KanuSubstituted forBlackmanat 70'minutes
- 2ChristieBooked at 65mins
- 6KeoghSubstituted forShottonat 45'minutes
- 17WhitbreadBooked at 44mins
- 4BrysonSubstituted forHendrickat 75'minutes
- 14EustaceBooked at 68mins
- 19HughesBooked at 77mins
- 10WardSubstituted forRussellat 42'minutes
- Darren Deadman
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 0, Derby County 3.
Attempt saved. Jake Taylor (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Foul by Johnny Russell (Derby County).
Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Nick Blackman.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Jordan Obita.
Jordon Ibe (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nick Blackman (Reading).
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).
Attempt missed. Jordon Ibe (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jeff Hendrick.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Chris Gunter.
Jordan Obita (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Will Hughes (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Obita (Reading).
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Craig Forsyth.
Ryan Shotton (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Reading).
Attempt missed. Johnny Russell (Derby County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.