Reading 4 (McAnuff 47, Karacan 49, 65, Roberts 90)
Four second-half goals for Reading ensured their wonderful run continued - picking up their ninth win out of ten - while the Reds struggled to cause the visitors any real problems and unable to complete a Championship double.
Less than 60 seconds on the clock and Roberts fed Hunt only to be denied by Luke Steele's wonderful save.
Danny Rose fancied his chances with a volley from a full 45-yards after a wonderful turn in the centre circle - but his ambitious effort drifted wide. The youngster was certainly showing no fear on his full debut.
Again Rose showed great creativity on 16 minutes before setting up Smith to cross and his effort was almost diverted into his own net by Pearce.
McAnuff turned Wiseman inside out on the edge of the box before unleashing a curling effort wide of Steele's left-hand upright. Neither side had taken control of the opening quarter. Ten minutes later McAnuff tried the lob on Steele after the Reds 'keeper cleared but the Royals' skipper's effort sailed over.
Davies bent over a 20-yard free-kick after winning the set-piece himself. The former Chesterfield man was looking lively and direct, operating with a shoot-on-sight policy.
Steele had to smother a Roberts effort after veteran squirmed a shot at goal followinga two-minute spell of pressure from the visitors but both sides were looking lively and the Oakwell crowd had come to life by the 35th minute.
With seven left to play in the first half, Leigertwood took aim from distance as he tends to do against the Reds but Steele wonderfully clawed the midfielder's effort away from the top-right corner.
A corner barely a minute later saw Leigertwood blaze a much easier opportunity when a nod down from Pearce set up the former Sheffield United man eight yards out but he hammered wide.
The game was stretched from end to end as a Davies delivery had to be cleared by Mullins with Nouble lurking at the far stick.
Just two minutes into the second half and Reading took the lead. McAnuff had a simple finish from eight yards after Roberts teed the winger up - laying into his path as he strolled forward.
A difficult task turned into mission impossible two minutes later when Karacan lashed a loose ball into the roof of the net. It was total capitulation on Barnsley's part who will be deeply disappointed by their defending.
Seven minutes in there was a proud moment for John Stones as the youngster replaced Scott Wiseman at right-back for his debut.
Veteran striker Robert fluffed wide after a jinking run from Jimmy Kebe, the Reds needed a way back into the match but were struggling to find an opening.
With 20 left to play it was certainly game over when Karacan let fly from 25 yards. Everything was falling for Reading who were to claim their ninth victory from ten matches as the midfielder bagged his second and his side's third.
With six left to play Frank Nouble rifled a 22-yard free-kick just over as chances were few and far between for the Reds. Leigertwood missed another sitter as he curled past Steele's post when well positioned but Jason Robert compiled more misery on the Reds in the 90th minute, getting the better of Foster before keeping his head to coolly slot past Steele.
Barnsley: Steele, Doyle (Dawson), Foster, Davies, Done, Wiseman (Stones 52), McNulty, Smith, Nouble, Collins, Rose (Cotterill 71).
Subs: Lidakevicius, Gray.
Reading: Federici, Karacan (Tabb 76), Pearce, Leigertwood, Hunt, McAnuff (Robson-Kanu 67), Kebe (Church 83), Gorkss, Harte, Mullins, Roberts.
Subs: Andersen, Le Fondre.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake
Assistant Referees: Andrew Hutchinson and Mark Astley
Fourth Official: Matthew Bristow
Attendance: 9,381 (678 away)