Chris Coleman's first home game in charge of Sunderland ended in disaster as Reading's revival continued with a 3-1 victory at the Stadium of Light.
Jaap Stam's Royals made it one defeat from their last seven matches as Modou Barrow scored twice in the 68th and 71st minutes to follow up David Edwards' opener eight minutes after half-time.
Sunderland did liven up when Lewis Grabban hit his 11th goal of the season with a penalty won by Joel Asoro with 14 minutes remaining, but the damage had already been well and truly done.
Modou Barrow celebrates his second of two goals as Reading eased past Sunderland
Barrow slots home his second goal to secure a 3-0 advantage for the Royals
Barrow scored twice in a matter of minutes to put the result beyond all doubt for the visitors
The Black Cats, deep in relegation trouble and who had to play the second half with 10 men following Callum McManaman's sending off for a second caution before the break, have now gone a staggering 21 games without winning on Wearside.
Even in the short space of time Coleman has been in charge, he has encountered his fair share of injury problems and he suffered another in the pre-match warm-up - well before McManaman contributed in his own special way too.
Paddy McNair, due to start in the middle, had to be withdrawn from the starting line-up after injuring himself beforehand, so Darron Gibson had to be introduced as a late replacement.
It was hardly the sort of thing Sunderland, looking for the same set of players to build on the victory at Burton a week earlier, needed to deliver the result that would have lifted them out of the bottom three.
David Edwards bundled in the opening goal before Barrow's quick-fire double
Jaap Stam praises his side with Reading having now lost just once in their last seven games
Barrow volleys the visitors' second goal past Sunderland goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter
Ruiter; Matthews, Browning, O'Shea, Oviedo; Cattermole, Gibson; McManaman, Honeyman, McGeady; Grabban
Subs not used: Steele, Galloway, Maja, Love, Gooch, Asoro, Wilson
Goals: Grabban (Pen) 76
Sent off: McManaman 45+3
Mannone; Bacuna, McShane, Moore, Gunter; van den Berg, Edwards; Aluko, Kelly, Barrow; Kermorgant
Subs not used: Beerens, Tiago Ilori,