The club captain made a return to the side at the expense of young Paulo Gazzaniga, and had very little to do in the first half as his defenders stood firm. Produced a strong punch from Shorey's free kick late on.
Has come on leaps and bounds in recent games, and today was no different. Was a constant presence in the air and made a superb challenge to snuff out a chance for Le Fondre early on.
The centre-back looks like he is forming a fine partnership with Jose Fonte, and dealt with the double Reading threat of Roberts and Le Fondre very well.
Got forward well early on, nearly setting up Schneiderlin with a good run and cross, and regularly pushed up throughout the second half, setting up Puncheon's goal with a pinpoint pass.
The Saints full-back has been on impressive form recently and looked solid once again, keeping Robson-Kanu at bay and getting forward well.
Had a quiet opening spell, but the winger came into the game more as time went on. Saw one effort saved by Federici before having to be withdrawn with a knee injury.
Played the supporting role, tidying up in midfield and spreading the play with confidence, but was nowhere near as involved as his midfield partner.
Switched wings comfortably, causing the Reading defence some real problems. Almost got on the scoresheet with a header which was disallowed before bagging a fine goal on the hour mark with a cool finish, and nearly doubled his tally with a rocket of a strike towards Federici's near post.
The Frenchman was chasing everything down as he tried to shut the Reading midfield out. Couldn't divert Clyne's early cross into the net but cropped up everywhere and took a lot of pressure of the Saints defence.
The 23-year-old really looked in the mood to take his chance in the starting line-up, and was full of running. Saw an early effort crash into the side netting. Came off to a standing ovation late on as he was replaced by Guly Do Prado.
Southampton's talismanic striker was in the mood once again, with an early volley wide and a curling effort which forced a fine save from Federici. Showed good strength and patience to release Clyne on the right in the build-up to Puncheon's goal.
The Royals shot-stopper made an excellent save early on to deny Lambert, and produced more heroics to shut out Puncheon early in the second half.
Like Mariappa, struggled with Southampton's dangerous crosses but made an excellent clearance from Yoshida's header, before nearly grabbing an assist at the other end as he set up Robson-Kanu's woodwork-hitting effort.
Southampton's forwards were causing problems, and Mariappa regularly committed fouls. The hosts' movement was proving tricky to handle and the defender looked out of his depth.
Struggled with the threat of Rodriguez and Puncheon, with Luke Shaw often doubling up in support. When he could venture forward, he delivered a fine cross in the build-up to Robson-Kanu's headed effort against the post.
Had an uncomfortable afternoon dealing with Puncheon, and was lucky not to be booked for hauling down Lambert after giving the Saints striker the ball. A threat from set-pieces but the visitors couldn't make the most of his crosses.
Has been on good form for the Royals, and produced another solid display, spreading the ball around well and testing Kelvin Davis with a palm-stinger, but had little support from the rest of his team and was withdrawn with 20 minutes left.
Quiet afternoon for the midfielder as the hosts chased and harried, giving Reading very little time on the ball.
So nearly gave the visitors the lead with a header against the post, but generally was little threat to Southampton's defence. Hauled off by McDermott with just under 15 minutes left.
Didn't get forward as much as he would have hoped and drifted out of the game for long periods. Had a glorious chance to equalise but blasted over.
A. Le Fondre
Clearly wanted to add to his strike against Manchester United last weekend, but endured a tough afternoon as Yoshida and Fonte imposed themselved on the striker.
Like his strike partner he was given a tough afternoon but you couldn't fault the veteran front man for effort. He chased as best he could but it wasn't the most fruitful of afternoons.