Match ends, Reading 1, Brentford 2.
Brentford edged out Reading in an absorbing Championship contest courtesy of eye-catching goals from Ryan Woods and Sergi Canos.
Woods put Brentford ahead with a long-range strike but Garath McCleary equalised just before the hour.
Woods then turned provider as Brentford claimed the winner with a half-volley from on-loan Liverpool striker Canos.
As Reading pushed for an equaliser, Michael Hector was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for a dive.
Victory gave Brentford their first away win since 24 October while Reading slumped to a sixth defeat in their last seven games.
The win for Dean Smith's side was kick-started by winger Woods, who opened the scoring in spectacular fashion, running at the Reading defence before driving a right-foot shot past Jonathan Bond into the top-left corner from 25 yards.
The 22-year-old's first goal of the season came after Nick Blackman and Hal Robson-Kanu went close for Reading.
Matej Vydra's half-time introduction almost had an immediate impact for the hosts, but the striker headed a glorious chance on to the crossbar from Stephen Quinn's cross to the back post.
But the Czech Republic international made amends when he exchanged passes with fellow substitute McCleary around the edge of Brentford's area to play in the midfielder for a neat finish.
Not to be upstaged by Woods' first-half goal, 18-year-old Canos came off the bench to net his third of the season when he skipped past Hector before firing in left-footed from the edge of the box.
Reading's chances of a second comeback evaporated when referee Keith Stroud showed Hector a second yellow card for simulation after the Jamaica international had been booked in the first half for dissent.
Reading boss Brian McDermott: "They were quality goals from Brentford but, no, that doesn't soften the blow.
"The first one came out of nothing. They hadn't really had a shot, then they scored.
"When we got ourselves back into it, I thought we were going to go on to win the game. Then they scored a quality second goal as well.
"The year 2015 wasn't great for Reading, though we got to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. But we want 2016 to be a lot better."
On Hector's dismissal: "The referee (Keith Stroud) said he dived, so if he says he dived, there you go. That's his opinion. It's two yellows."
Brentford head coach Dean Smith: "I thought all three goals in the game were of real quality. It was a great strike from Ryan and I think Sergi tried to top him with that one.
"They were really good finishes and we needed them against a very good team.
"We've been talking in recent weeks about Ryan's finishing, about him hitting the target more. But did I expect it? No.
"But I welcomed it because I thought we were second best in the first half. Reading were the better team and we had to manfully defend."
- 8HectorBooked at 87mins
- 21QuinnBooked at 72mins
- 23WilliamsBooked at 75mins
- 17PiazonSubstituted forLiburdat 70'minutes
- 20JohnSubstituted forMcClearyat 45'minutes
- 9Robson-KanuSubstituted forVydraat 45'minutes
- 26Al Habsi
- 27ButtonBooked at 80mins
- 6DeanBooked at 87mins
- 26TarkowskiBooked at 5mins
- 20DiagouragaBooked at 28mins
- 10McEachranSubstituted forCanosat 59'minutes
- 19SwiftSubstituted forSaundersat 78'minutes
- 21VibeSubstituted forHofmannat 68'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 1, Brentford 2.
Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Paul McShane.
Offside, Brentford. Ryan Woods tries a through ball, but Sergi Canos is caught offside.
Foul by Oliver Norwood (Reading).
Sergi Canos (Brentford) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Ryan Woods.
Attempt blocked. Alan Judge (Brentford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philipp Hofmann.
Paul McShane (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sergi Canos (Brentford).
Second yellow card to Michael Hector (Reading).
Michael Hector (Reading) has gone down, but that's a dive.
Harlee Dean (Brentford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Oliver Norwood (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Harlee Dean (Brentford).
Rowan Liburd (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Harlee Dean (Brentford).
Foul by Rowan Liburd (Reading).
James Tarkowski (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matej Vydra (Reading).