After an uneventful beginning, the pendulum swung in favour of the promotion chasers, as Julian Börner gave away a penalty and was sent off after 30 minutes, with Michael Olise tucking home the spot-kick.
The Royals added to their advantage through strikes from former Wednesday forward Lucas Joao and Andy Yiadom to remain fifth in the Championship table.
Story of the match
Reading started the game well, retaining possession with slow build-up play to break down the Owls.
The Royals had the game’s opening chance of the fixture on 15 minutes, with Alfa Semedo seeing his long-range drive deflect wide of the target.
Semedo then went close moments later, benefitting from Omar Richards’ wayward cross as the midfielder volleyed into the body of Liam Palmer.
Wednesday rode Reading’s pressure well, and managed to carve out two opportunities of their own. Osaze Urhoghide’s lung-busting run ended with the full-back floating a ball towards the back stick where Thomas Holmes headed wide before Barry Bannan could capitalise.
George Puşcaş then forced Joe Wildsmith into action, striking Andy Yiadom’s pass first time towards the target, but the ‘keeper held.
The home side were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark, as Börner gifted the ball to Puşcaş, who broke towards goal before being thwarted by the German, who was subsequently dismissed.
Olise stepped up and sent Wildsmith the wrong way to claim his 10th goal involvement of the season.
With the Owls down to 10, Reading dominated the rest of the fixture, going close to extending their lead from a Puşcaş header and an Olise effort.
In the second period, Joao went close as he sliced Olise’s dangerous cross wide of the target.
On the hour mark, Tom McIntyre saw an effort across the face of goal roll wide of the far post from a corner.
Reading doubled their lead through former Owls forward Joao. McIntyre allowed the ball roll across his body before Olise carried the ball towards the edge of the area. The winger played the ball out to the right-hand side, where Yiadom teed up Joao, who drilled his effort past Wildsmith to register his second goal in two games against his former club.
The only major opportunity that came from the Owls in the second half came through substitute Jack Marriott, who drove through the Royals’ backline before he dragged wide of the far post.
Yiadom capped off a great afternoon for Reading, drilling home their third goal of the afternoon with two minutes to go.