Reading add to Norwich troubles with hard-fought victory
Norwich's struggles continued as they lost for the eighth time in 10 Sky Bet Championship matches after going down 3-1 at in-form Reading.
Reading went ahead eight minutes before the break when Yann Kermorgant was given time and space to nod in a free-kick.
Norwich merited the equaliser they got in the 60th minute, scored by Nelson Oliveira, but they were behind again soon after when captain Jonny Howson conceded a penalty and was sent off for deliberate handball on the goalline.
Although Kermorgant hit the bar from resulting penalty, Garath McCleary netted from the rebound.
Callum Harriott added a late third goal for Reading, who won for the eighth time in 10 league matches.
Norwich's form has tailed off significantly since they topped the Championship in mid-October.
In contrast, Reading have been in fine recent form and had risen to third place behind Newcastle and Brighton.
And it was the hosts who started the brighter and they could have gone ahead in the first minute.
Kermorgant found Liam Kelly with space in the area but visiting defender Ivo Pinto got back to make a last-ditch clearance.
Norwich swiftly assumed control, with the home side struggling to make an impression with their possession-based play.
Graham Dorrans swung over a corner from the left and Steven Naismith sent a glancing header sailing over the home crossbar.
However, Dorrans lasted only until the 25th minute, when he had to go off with a leg injury after a bizarre incident.
Reading captain Paul McShane tried to take a quick free-kick and, in attempting to block the fiercely struck ball from close range, Dorrans hurt himself and was replaced by Martin Olsson.
Norwich continued to press, with Alex Tettey making a fine solo run from midfield but then directing a weak shot at home goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
Naismith drove narrowly wide, after a poor clearing header from Liam Moore, and it was to prove costly as Reading went ahead in the 37th minute.
Kelly clipped over a free-kick from the left wing and Kermorgant rose alone to easily head past keeper John Ruddy.
Jacob Murphy wasted a decent chance to equalise soon after when driving an effort too high from 20 yards.
Norwich began in the second half where they left off in the first, running the game yet still failing to capitalise on their dominance.
Sebastien Bassong and Oliveira missed opportunities but Norwich finally levelled on the hour.
Murphy drove towards the byline and cut the ball back for Oliveira to lash into the roof of the net.
That was no more than Norwich deserved, but they were level for just eight minutes before Reading regained their lead.
Skipper Howson was sent off for handling Kermorgan's goalbound header, and after the Frenchman's chipped spot kick had struck the bar, McCleary reacted quickly to nod in the rebound.
It was Reading's 10th penalty award of the season - five of which they have missed
On four of those occasions, though, they had netted on the follow up.
Substitute Harriott wrapped up the victory in stoppage time with a well-struck shot via a post.
Source : PA