Pavel Pogrebnyak struck his third league goal for Reading to give Brian McDermott's side their second Barclays Premier League win of the season 1-0 at the expense of West Ham.
The Royals had halted a run of seven defeats with a draw at home to Swansea on Boxing Day and went one better against a poor Hammers side, moving three points clear of bottom club QPR in the process.
James Collins presented Pogrebnyak with a late Christmas gift. The Hammers defender looked to play a simple ball back to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Pogrebnyak stole in to slot past the Finn and put Reading ahead with just five minutes on the clock.
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