Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Reading 0.
Brighton took advantage of a slip-up by Newcastle as they beat Reading at home to go top of the Championship.
Newcastle's 2-2 draw with Bristol City gave the Seagulls an opportunity to go one point clear at the summit.
After a quiet opening, Brighton's Sam Baldock hit the post with a curling 20-yard shot before latching onto Bruno's lofted pass to fire past Ali Al-Habsi.
Dale Stephens set up Jamie Murphy to chip in the second and French winger Anthony Knockaert slid in a late third.
As well as leapfrogging Newcastle, who Brighton host on Tuesday, Chris Hughton's side created a six-point gap to third-placed Huddersfield.
Reading have taken only five points from their five games in February and Leeds' win over Sheffield Wednesday in Saturday's early kick-off meant the Royals dropped to fifth position, 10 points from the top two.
Chances were rare in the first 30 minutes but the game sparked into life with Baldock's superb shot against the upright.
Al-Habsi kept out Knockaert's low attempt before Baldock's opening goal, while Reading's Danny Williams had a header saved by home goalkeeper David Stockdale, who also denied Roy Beerens from close range.
The victory was secured in a frantic passage of play early in the second half, when Brighton defender Shane Duffy reacted quickly to clear a Williams header off the line, and then the hosts broke swiftly from the resulting corner to make it 2-0.
Knockaert's 11th league goal of the season, an angled shot from 15 yards, extended the Seagulls' unbeaten Championship run at home to 14 games.
- 12PocognoliSubstituted forTomoriat 83'minutes
- 6StephensBooked at 27mins
- 14SidwellBooked at 55mins
- 17MurraySubstituted forHemedat 77'minutes
- 9BaldockSubstituted forAkpomat 82'minutes
- 26Al Habsi
- 6EvansBooked at 68minsSubstituted forKellyat 69'minutes
- 54MutchSubstituted forSwiftat 57'minutes
- 12McClearySubstituted forGrabbanat 72'minutes
- 4van den Berg
- Peter Bankes
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Reading 0.
Attempt blocked. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tyler Blackett.
Attempt blocked. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Roy Beerens.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Bruno.
Lewis Grabban (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Bruno (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Fikayo Tomori replaces Sébastien Pocognoli.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Chuba Akpom replaces Sam Baldock.
Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Reading 0. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamie Murphy following a fast break.
Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Tomer Hemed replaces Glenn Murray.
Attempt missed. Chris Gunter (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.
Attempt blocked. Yann Kermorgant (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Lewis Grabban (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Steve Sidwell (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Substitution, Reading. Lewis Grabban replaces Garath McCleary.
Attempt missed. Sam Baldock (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.
Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Foul by Yann Kermorgant (Reading).