Match ends, Reading 0, Leeds United 2.
Reading 0-2 Leeds United
Second-half goals from Luke Murphy and Sam Byram gave Leeds a third win in four matches as they fight to avoid relegation from the Championship.
Murphy's speculative long-range effort deceived Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici to put the visitors in front.
Leeds keeper Marco Silvestri made an excellent save from Danny Williams' angled drive to prevent an equaliser.
And Byram sealed the win in the last minute when nodding in unmarked at the far post from a Steve Morison cross.
Leeds remain five points clear of the bottom three, and turned in a solid defensive performance as they bounced back from Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Brentford.
Neil Redfearn's side lost Italian midfielder Tommaso Bianchi to a first-half knee injury, suffered in a collision with Williams.
But they came closest to scoring before the break, with Morison striking the post after Lewis Cook had broken clear to set him up.
Reading struggled to create clear chances, although Nick Blackman should have done better than put a weak header easily within Silvestri's reach from a Stephen Kelly right-wing cross.
Murphy gave Leeds the advantage with a fierce drive from 35 yards that Federici could only help into the net, before Byram made sure of victory.
Reading manager Steve Clarke:
"It was a very disappointing night after having had such a good spell recently.
"It was not our best performance by a long way. It was not a great game, it was very scrappy, and I always felt that the first goal was going to be crucial.
"I'm not sure why we were so lacklustre. It was very strange and is difficult to work out. We just didn't fire tonight. But we'll not get too down. We'll put it to bed and move on."
Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn:
"From one to 11, I thought we defended really well. We showed a real willingness and togetherness to not concede a goal.
"We're now 17th and it looks a lot healthier. The most important thing is that the win takes us to 35 points, which means you're nearer that 50-mark.
"It's also bunched a lot of clubs together. There's a lot of clubs who might have thought they were safe but might yet still get dragged into it."
- 6NorwoodSubstituted forMackieat 63'minutes
- 7PogrebnyakSubstituted forCoxat 71'minutes
- 22BlackmanSubstituted forAiyegbeniat 71'minutes
- 15WoottonBooked at 59mins
- 14BianchiSubstituted forSlothat 30'minutes
- 2ByramBooked at 90mins
- 23L Cook
- 35Del Fabro
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 0, Leeds United 2.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Alex Pearce.
Attempt blocked. Casper Sloth (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Byram with a cross.
Sam Byram (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Reading 0, Leeds United 2. Sam Byram (Leeds United) header from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steve Morison with a cross.
Attempt saved. Steve Morison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Luke Murphy.
Attempt missed. Yakubu (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross.
Offside, Leeds United. Luke Murphy tries a through ball, but Sam Byram is caught offside.
Foul by Jamie Mackie (Reading).
Scott Wootton (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michael Hector (Reading).
Luke Murphy (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Offside, Reading. Yakubu tries a through ball, but Stephen Kelly is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Yakubu (Reading) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Simon Cox.
Alex Pearce (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Casper Sloth (Leeds United).
Attempt missed. Jamie Mackie (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Michael Hector.
Attempt saved. Daniel Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah.
Attempt missed. Sam Byram (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Lewis Cook.