Latics 3-2 Reading
The Latics went into this game hoping to put an end to a two game losing streak, but with a mounting injury list a reshuffled side had to respond to the managers calls, respond they did.
Emmerson Boyce dropped into the back three for the injured Gary Caldwell, Ronnie Stam came in at right wing back, Dave Jones started in midfield and Jordi Gomez joined the front three in place of Franco Di Santo who wasn`t quite 100% fit
The Latics were bright from the off, Jean Beausejour looking back to his best latched on to a glorious 40 yard pass from captain for the day Ivan Ramis, the Chile international sent a great cross into the Reading penalty area, Arouna Kone slipped his marker and planted a thunderous header just wide of the post from six yards out
Moments later the industrious Jordi Gomez threaded a great ball through the Reading defence, Kone was onto it in a flash, he poked the ball past the out rushing Federici only for Nicky Shorey to scoop off the line and out for a corner
Latics were bossing the game and looking lively, Maloney and Gomez knocking the ball around wonderfully, Stam and in particular Beausejour causing the Reading defence problems with great runs and excellent balls into the box, but as so often happens it was the visitors who took the lead
Reading were awarded a free kick about 10 yards into the Latics half on the left, Shorey curled a great ball into the box, it was met by the in rushing Morrison who thundered a towering header past Al Habsi, 35 minutes gone, 0-1
Gomez almost pulled the scores level before half-time, he picked the ball up out on the Latics left, cut inside, wrong footed two Reading defenders and from 12 yards tried to curl the ball into the far corner, unfortunately it was on his weaker right foot and the ball went just over the bar with Federici well beaten
The start of the second half saw an enforced change when Shaun Maloney had to be replaced with Franco Di Santo, the Argentina international almost scored with his first touch within one minute of the restart, Gomez threaded yet again another defence splitting pass through for Di Santo to run onto and with his first touch he side footed the ball towards the far bottom corner, unfortunately Federici got a good hand to it and pushed away for a corner.
Di Santo did have the ball in the net moments later, Beausejour crossed a wonderful ball into the box and the Argentine finished with aplomb, unfortunately the assistant referee wrongly flagged for offside and the goal didn`t stand
Beausejour did provide Gomez with the chance to put the Latics level though shortly afterwards, a low curling cross into the box and Gomez like a flash smashed a shot which Federici parried, fortunately for the Latics Gomez was fully alert and following up his own effort he smashed the ball home with his right foot, 58 minutes, 1-1
Ten minutes later and the Latics were in front, Di Santo out wide left hit an in swinging cross that Gomez bravely got down low onto with a great diving header to put the ball in the bottom corner from 8 yards, 68 minutes, 2-1
The game was now end to end and a real spectacle for the supporters, though it was the Latics that were creating the better opportunities, Gomez, Di Santo, Kone, Stam and Beausejour all playing out of their skins as the Latics looked to extend their lead, unfortunately a freak goal pulled the game back for Reading
Jason Roberts had the ball in the Latics area, he passed to Robson-Kanu who hit a first time effort that cannoned off Dave Jones and spun high into the air. The ball seemed to take an age to come down, Al Habsi was stood on his line and looked unsure whether to catch or tip over for a corner, in the end he attempted to tip the ball out, but it hit the bar then the back of Al Habsi`s head then into the goal, 80 minutes, 2-2
With time running out and both sides looking for a winner it was the Latics and man of the match Jordi Gomez that sealed the victory, three minutes into stoppage time Gomez picked the ball up in the middle of the park, he hit a first time pass out left to Kone, the Ivory Coast international burst into the penalty box, Di Santo had made a run taking two Reading defenders with him, Gomez ran into the area and Kone found him with a good ball, Gomez hit a sweet left footed strike into the goal to claim his hat-trick and the three points for the Latics, GET IN. Full time 3-2
Great game and three great goals from the Spaniard
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Subs not used - Pollitt, Fyvie, McManaman, Boselli
Reading - Federici, Gunter, Shorey, Morrison, Gorkss, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Tabb (McLeary 73), Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 84)
Subs not used - Taylor, Hunt, Mariappa, Harte, Cummings
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