Match ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.
Substitute Adam Forshaw's stoppage-time winner carried Middlesbrough to the top of the Championship as they secured a dramatic victory over Reading.
Boro went in front when Emilio Nsue slotted home from close range after Ali al-Habsi thwarted Jordan Rhodes.
Simon Cox dinked in an equaliser when Dimi Konstantopoulos could not hold sub Andrew Taylor's powerful drive.
But the hosts went two points clear of Burnley at the summit when Forshaw turned home after a goalmouth scramble.
Aitor Karanka's side are now also four points ahead of third-placed Brighton in the race for automatic promotion, with all three sides having played 41 games.
Middlesbrough can now guarantee a place in the Premier League next season, for the first time in seven years, should they win four of their last five matches.
On a foggy night, the hosts started full of confidence after winning their previous four games, but they failed to build on Nsue's opener.
Albert Adomah missed a golden chance to double the lead soon after the break, before Cox levelled with what was only the seventh league goal Boro have conceded at home this season.
As Middlesbrough piled forward in the closing stages and went close through Ben Gibson and David Nugent headers, they almost paid for their attacking intent when Matej Vydra broke clear in added time, only to shoot over from inside the box.
And the home side took full advantage in the fourth added minute when Forshaw was on the spot to force the ball in from a tight angle.
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: "I am really pleased because we won the game, but when you are a coach, now my feelings are I am happier for the players than for me.
"They deserve to live this situation and now I am going home and I am going to dream about Bolton tonight.
"When you are a coach, you enjoy it especially with players like them, who are doing their best every single day."
Reading manager Brian McDermott: "It should have been three points. We had a chance at the end there and just didn't score, and they punished us at the other end.
"At 1-0 down after 10 minutes, it's never an easy place to get a result here, as everybody is proving this year, so I think we have given them as good a game as anyone has given them this year."
- 5de Laet
- 7LeadbitterSubstituted forForshawat 59'minutes
- 24NsueSubstituted forRamírezat 67'minutes
- 9RhodesSubstituted forNugentat 87'minutes
- 10De Pena
- 16de Sart
- 26Al Habsi
- 2GunterSubstituted forMcClearyat 18'minutes
- 35CooperBooked at 57mins
- 11ObitaSubstituted forTaylorat 45'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 17PiazonSubstituted forJohnat 59'minutes
- Scott Duncan
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1.
Goal! Middlesbrough 2, Reading 1. Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.
Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Clayton following a corner.
Attempt missed. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Cooper.
Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Nugent with a cross.
Offside, Reading. Stephen Quinn tries a through ball, but Matej Vydra is caught offside.
Attempt saved. David Nugent (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Andrew Taylor.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. David Nugent replaces Jordan Rhodes.
Attempt blocked. Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Garath McCleary (Reading) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Clayton.
Attempt saved. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes.
Attempt missed. Danny Williams (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Matej Vydra.
Attempt saved. Garath McCleary (Reading) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ola John with a cross.
Simon Cox (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).