Norwich: Ruddy, Pinto, Martin, Klose, Dijks, Tettey, Howson, Pritchard (Murphy, '81), Murphy, Hoolahan (Naismith, '87), Oliveira (Jerome, '87)
Subs: Whittaker, Jerome, Naismith, Wildschut, Bennett, Murphy, McGovern
Reading: Al Habsi; Gunter, Oxford, Moore, Blackett (Watson, '61); Mutch (Obita, '52), Kelly; McCleary, Swift (Gravenberch, '80), Grabban; Kermorgant
Subs: Mendes, Obita, Williams, Popa, Gravenberch, Watson, Jaakkola
Reading failed in their efforts to consolidate their Championship play-off place following a humiliating 7-1 defeat on a truly abject afternoon at Carrow Road.
The Royals immediately found themselves on the back foot in Norfolk, with Chris Gunter conceding a penalty after just two minutes, bringing down Nelson Oliveira in the box. The Portuguese striker quickly picked himself up and converted the spot kick to give the hosts the lead. This advantage was doubled by the time the game had reached the quarter-of-an-hour mark, as Wes Hoolahan dispatched a low right-footed effort from close range to make it 2-0 to the Canaries.
Just ten minutes later it was three, with Alex Pritchard beating Ali Al Habsi with a first-time drive from outside the box. From there the floodgates well and truly opened. With the half-an-hour mark just passed, Russell Martin was on hand to make it four as he successfully turned in a Norwich corner with a right-footed finish, and it was 5-0 after just thirty-five minutes thanks to Pritchard's second goal of the day, this time a drilled, low effort from twenty yards out.
Yann Kermorgant had appeared to restore some pride for the visitors with his fifth goal in four games after thirty-nine minutes. However, his close-range right-footed strike was immediately cancelled out by the hosts' sixth of the day, as Hoolahan doubled his tally for the afternoon, this time with a left-footed drive from inside the box.
In a second half that was largely focused on damage limitation, Jaap Stam made two early changes, replacing Jordon Mutch with Jordan Obita and Tyler Blackett with academy product Tennai Watson. Yet despite playing some markedly better football, the Royals were unable to kickstart any sort of recovery that may have spared some of the blushes caused by their truly shambolic first half display.
The final Royals change of the day came as John Swift was replaced by Danzell Gravenberch with ten minutes left on the clock, but even with this added line of defence, Reading were unable to keep out a seventh Norwich goal. It was Cameron Jerome who became the fifth different scorer of the day for the Canaries, as the Royals suffered their heaviest and certainly their most humbling defeat of the season.