Wigan Athletic vs. Reading
Date: Saturday 18th April 2014
Venue: The DW Stadium
Referee: Craig Pawson
Wigan Athletic came closer to their dream of getting back into the Premier League after demolishing a poor Reading side 3-0.
It was a game that promise so much. A close encounter? Both teams going at it hammer and tongs?
No. Instead, Wigan pulled off one of the performances of the season to see off fellow play-off chasers, Reading.
Yet another Jordi Gomez screamer put the Latics on the road to success before Martyn Waghorn found the back of the net after Reading keeper, Alex McCarthy, parried.
And to finish, Callum McManaman put Reading to bed with a superb solo effort.
Wigan have lost at home just once in fifteen matches and they started this game well as, early on, McManaman drove into the box and saw a powerful shot parried away by McCarthy in goal.
It appeared that, although Wigan were creating chances, they had no proven striker on the field to convert.
Until Jordi Gomez received the ball from Roger Espinoza, took two touches, and pulled the trigger. The ball swerved to the right and beat McCarthy, who was at full stretch. Advantage Wigan.
With three minutes of the half to go, McManaman drove at the Reading defence, placed the ball past Sean Morrison, latched onto his own through ball and had a shot. McCarthy could only parry the ball away from goal and into the feet of Waghorn, who doubled Wigan’s lead with ease.
At 2-0, Wigan needed a third goal to ensure victory and they pushed and pushed. Eventually, it was the Reading defence that gifted them an opportunity.
Shaun Maloney played a through ball to Waghorn who let the ball run. Morrison was caught out and Waghorn latched onto the ball, showing superior pace. He passed to McManaman, who took on three Reading defenders and smashed a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and went in.
3-0 Wigan. Goodbye Reading.
After this third goal and indeed for the entire ninety minutes, Reading offered very little going forward and Pavel Pogrebnyak was ineffective up front on his own.
Wigan were relentless against Reading and showed just what they are capable of with the squad they have available. Burnley should be apprehensive about facing this Wigan team on Monday. Wigan stay in fifth position in the table and look certain to get a play-off spot. A win over Burnley would see them rise to fourth spot ahead of QPR.