Yann Kermorgant produced a stunning strike as Reading saw off play-off rivals Leeds 1-0 to move fourth in the Sky Bet Championship.
The striker, who last week announced he is to retire next year, put his side ahead in the first half and, despite chances at both ends, Reading held on for victory as they leapfrogged their visitors into fourth with seven games to play.
Jaap Stam's men had the best of the chances during the first half, but neither side were up to their best as Reading had a number of opportunities wasted as they looked to build pressure in the final third.
And, although the visitors forced Reading to defend during the second half, Garry Monk's Leeds were condemned to their first defeat in eight games.
The first chance of the game came after seven minutes when John Swift picked the ball up in midfield before driving forward into the area but, in a lucky let-off for the visitors, the midfielder got the ball caught under his feet.
Just four minutes later Leeds came close when Pablo Hernandez delivered a neat free-kick in from the left which Ali Al-Habsi came to claim and failed to clear, but Kyle Bartley could only guide the ball into the side-netting from an acute angle.
The opening goal came in the 21st minute and it was a moment of pure brilliance from Kermorgant when he produced a thunderous strike from the edge of the box to leave Leeds goalkeeper Robert Green with no chance after the away side had failed to clear a Reading throw-in.
Reading pushed for a second before the interval in a spell of end-to-end action, which saw three chances created in the course of two minutes.
Swift sent a sublime through-ball into the path of Roy Beerens in the 37th minute, but the winger blazed the ball over the bar after finding himself one-on-one with Green.
Less than a minute later Green was called upon again, covering his angles to produce a fine save and deny Garath McCleary from close range.
Up the other end, Leeds almost equalised when Hernandez connected with a low cross at the back post but he couldn't quite find the target.
Kermorgant came close to grabbing his second on the stroke of half-time as he attempted to pass the ball into the corner from the edge of the box but his effort struck the woodwork.
Monk's men started the second half well with the league's top scorer Chris Wood finally getting a touch very early on after a quiet opening period.
Reading continued to prove a threat moving forward, with Bartley able to intercept a dangerous Leeds cross to clear the danger after Chris Gunter and McCleary almost broke through in the 68th minute.
Liam Cooper was lucky to have escape without a booking after appearing to have stood on Reading substitute Reece Oxford's head, but referee Keith Stroud didn't appear to see the incident.
Next up for the two sides, Reading host Blackburn on Tuesday and Leeds travel to Brentford.
Reading boss Jaap Stam
"I thought we dominated the game. You could see how they were set up, waiting to come out on the counter-attack but we stayed positioned and we played the game very well.
"Second half you know they need to change the way of playing and we spoke about that at half-time. We couldn't really play the same as how we played in the first half but we still created a couple of very good chances.
"You need to defend, you need to work hard and dig in. We needed to get that result.
I'm very proud of the team."
Leeds United boss Garry Monk
"I think idealistically in the first half we made too many mistakes and one of them cost us. We talked about that at half-time and I think we controlled the second half.
"We had our chances to get the equaliser but we haven't. We dust ourselves down and we keep going. We know we're good enough.
"There were three or four phases in the first-half where we just made mistakes. We switched off in the throw-in which was a lack of concentration and we can't afford to make them.
"The second-half we came out strong. We had them in their own half for pretty much the whole period. If we had a little bit more luck with some of the chances then a goal would have been deserved. But we haven't, so we dust ourselves down and get ready for Tuesday."