Reading continue to search for their first Premier League win after a Raheem Sterling goal handed Liverpool a merited 1-0 win at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers's side had 23 shots at the visiting goal, but were forced to settle for one meaningful moment on an often frantic afternoon when Sterling bounded onto a Luis Suarez pass to slide the ball beyond the exposed visiting goalkeeper Alex McCarthy on 29 minutes.
How Reading managed to remain active in the match until the dying seconds was something of a minor miracle with Suarez in particular something of an enigma throughout the afternoon.
The Uruguay forward gave a master class in forward play, but was also guilty of passing up several obvious opportunities. How he walked off the park at full-time without a goal to his name was utterly bewildering.
Reading remain firmly among the nether regions of the table with this latest reverse leaving them 18th in the standings.
They have collected only three points from seven games with Norwich on the same mark, but Chris Hughton's side are three goals worse off in 19th place. QPR remain bottom with two points from seven games, but this already looks like it is going to be a long struggle of a campaign for a Reading side who look more suited to the Championship.
The visiting team managed to exude commitment, but lacked the required finesse to punish Liverpool for their profligacy. Liverpool have a modest nine points from eight matches, but are up to 11th.
The match seemed to revolve around the shenanigans of Suarez as he lifted a chip over on 24 minutes before whacking a shot narrowly wide seconds later.
Glen Johnson then stung the palms off McCarthy before the break. There was still time for referee Roger East to attract the derision of the home supporters after Suarez was clobbered late by Kaspars Gorkss moments before half-time only for the referee to wave play on as Suarez limped off the field.
Liverpool fans predictably grew increasingly anxious as their side tried in vain to ease the tension with a second goal that would never come.
McCarthy made a solid save from Sterling after he had been supplied by Suarez at the outset of the second period with the Reading keeper showing his agility to repel another Suarez effort seconds later.
Reading's best chance of the match arrived when substitute Garath McCleary broke up the park at speed, but he could only drive the ball at Brad Jones - in for the injured Pepe Reina - who looked lively to come off his line to narrow the angle.
Jones was then alert to halt a Jobi McAnuff shot from distance while Suarez continued to cause problems for Reading at the other end. Substitute Jonjo Shelvey failed to control the ball from a lovely Suarez pass on 65 minutes, but Suarez was equally wasteful as he failed to find the target at least three more times with Jose Enrique providing some marvellous ammunition after being thrown into the action by Rodgers.
McCarthy also kept out a shot by Johnson with 20 minutes left. In the end, it mattered little to the scoreline. But Rodgers will be aware his side would not have escaped from this afternoon with three points against a sharper side than Reading.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Luiz Suarez (Liverpool) 8: Gets the nod for his forward play if not his finishing. Was a joy to watch at times and played provided for Sterling's winner. But would have been close to unplayable if he had laced his afternoon with a goal or two which his contribution certainly deserved.
LIVERPOOL: Jones 7, Wisdom 6, Johnson 7, Agger 6, Skrtel 7, Sahin 6, Gerrard 7, Allen 6, Sterling 7, Suso 5, Suarez 7. Subs: Shelvey 5, Henderson 6, Enrique 7
READING: McCarthy 7, Cummings 7, Shorey 6, Gorkss 7, Mariappa 7, Karacan 5, Leigertwood 6, Kebe 6, McAnuff 6, Guthrie 5; Pogrebnyak 5. Subs: McCleary 6, Le Fondre 6, Roberts 7