Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard struck second-half goals for Liverpool who increased Aston Villa's Premier League relegation fears by recovering from going behind to secure a 2-1 away victory on Sunday.
Striker Christian Benteke, with his 14th league goal of the season, fired Villa
into a first-half lead but the game changed in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Henderson equalised on 47 minutes and Gerrard scored with a penalty on the hour to leave Villa stuck in the bottom three.
Reading prop up the standings on 23 points from 31 games, with Queens Park Rangers, who play at Fulham on Monday, on 23 from 30. Villa have 30 from 31, with Wigan Athletic sitting just above the drop zone.
Just four points separate Southampton, in 12th place, and Villa in 18th and Villa coach Paul Lambert said his side were playing well enough to escape the drop. Villa are one of just seven clubs to have been ever-present in the top flight since the Premier League era began in 1992.
"We are certainly playing well enough to go and win games," Lambert said. "Anybody who was here today would say the same - we're certainly playing well enough. We don't look like a team which is down there at the bottom. If we keep going the way we are going we'll win more games than not.”