Match ends, Reading 1, Wycombe Wanderers 0.
Lucas Joao netted a superb individual goal to send Reading three points clear at the top of the Championship with victory against Wycombe.
A fifth win in six games for the hosts was hard-fought as Wycombe pushed right to the end for an equaliser in a bid to earn their first Championship point.
Fred Onyedinma twice went close for the Chairboys late on, with Reading goalkeeper Rafael palming away a fierce shot on the turn.
But Joao provided the definitive moment just past the hour mark when he latched on to Liam Moore's long ball into the penalty box before chesting it down and finishing confidently past Ryan Allsop.
Reading go outright top of the Championship for the first time this season after Middlesbrough, the only team to take points off them so far this campaign, beat Bristol City 1-0 at Ashton Gate.
Veljko Paunovic has now overseen three home league wins and three clean sheets since taking charge at the Madejski Stadium in September. Wycombe are still searching for a first point after a sixth straight defeat.
There was arguably little between the sides before Joao scored his third league goal of the season.
Yakou Meite came closest to scoring before then as he failed to find the target with a free header from Ovie Ejaria's cross in first-half stoppage time and then Allsop blocked his dangerous low cross from the right at the near post.
Alex Samuel almost provided an immediate response to Joao's goal for Wycombe, but he could not quite make a clean contact on Onyedinma's cross shortly after he came off the bench.
Wycombe's tough start to life in the Championship will continue when they face relegated sides Norwich City and Watford in their next two fixtures.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"This was without doubt the hardest challenge so far for us this season. Keeping our good run going and after drawing at Middlesbrough, we were anxious to get a win.
"The first half, it didn't work well for us, they were the better team and they worked harder than us and we have to say that we picked up these three points by fighting hard.
"Wycombe fought hard and made it challenging for us.
"Defensively, we're looking solid so far but we have to keep working to improve going forward and game by game, we'll keep building and progressing.
"We're not looking at the table, just our next opponent and we know Rotherham will be a hard test on Saturday."
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"The performance was great, but I can't keep saying it as results are what's important in the game.
"We've really taken the top of the league team right to the end and I don't think anyone would've begrudged us a goal and a point.
"It was just key moments again. We've got to defend that long ball into the area better and apart from that, I don't think Ryan's (Allsop) had a save to make.
"The boys have got to be better because if they're giving me everything, then their best isn't quite good enough at the moment.
"We've had a couple of shots on their goal, but didn't hit the target. If we do, then we find an equaliser.
"I think six defeats on the spin is a first for me and it's not a nice feeling. We need to get a win on the board and I'm sure that's just around the corner."
- 33Cabral Barbosa
- 29HolmesSubstituted forPontes Estevesat 57'minutes
- 8RinomhotaBooked at 78mins
- 11MeiteSubstituted forSemedoat 57'minutes
- 7OliseSubstituted forMcIntyreat 89'minutes
- 18Lucas JoãoBooked at 35mins
- 2Pontes Esteves
- 10BloomfieldSubstituted forMehmetiat 80'minutes
- 11KashketSubstituted forOnyedinmaat 64'minutes
- 25SamuelSubstituted forAkinfenwaat 68'minutes
- Andy Davies
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Reading 1, Wycombe Wanderers 0.
Foul by Ovie Ejaria (Reading).
Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Anis Mehmeti (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Curtis Thompson.
Attempt saved. Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Offside, Reading. Ovie Ejaria tries a through ball, but Alfa Semedo is caught offside.
Lucas João (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers).
Substitution, Reading. Tom McIntyre replaces Michael Olise.
Tomás Esteves (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Curtis Thompson (Wycombe Wanderers).
Attempt missed. Fred Onyedinma (Wycombe Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Omar Richards (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers).
Corner, Wycombe Wanderers. Conceded by Michael Morrison.
Substitution, Wycombe Wanderers. Anis Mehmeti replaces Matt Bloomfield.
Andy Rinomhota (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Andy Rinomhota (Reading).
Joe Jacobson (Wycombe Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.