Late winner sinks Royals
24th November 2012
Reading were on the losing end of a superb game with Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as the Royals lost 3-2 in injury time thanks to a Jordi Gomez hat trick.
Royals boss Brian McDermott opted to not make any changes from the team that won their first game of the season last week against Everton, but it was a similarly shaky start from the Berkshire side. Wigan enjoyed most of the early running and should have opened the scoring in the opening minites, as Beausejour's inviting cross was attacked by Aruona Koné, but his header went wide of a helpless Federici's post.
The Royals were having to try and catch the hosts out on the break in the opening exchanges and almost did that as McAnuff's cross to the back post was met by Le Fondre, but couldn't direct the header into the net. Reading continued to apply the pressure as the half progressed, with Nicky Shorey's well-worked free kick almost causing a problem for Al-Habsi, but the Oman international grasped it under control.
The first goal of the game came of 35 minutes and it was for the visitors. Hal Robson-Kanu won a foul from James McCarthy and Shorey's deep free-kick was attacked expertly by defender Sean Morrison, who scored his first Premier League goal on his fourth appearance. It shell-shocked the home side after a confident start, but the game was now swinging in the favour of Brian McDermott's Reading side.
Wigan responded well and maybe should have found their equaliser minutes later, as Jordi Gomez's neat footwork was not justified with his poor finish over the bar. The second period started in a similar vein to the first, as the home side started on the front foot. It look the, just 40 seconds to force Federici into a save, as substitute Franco Di Santo's curling effort was palmed away well by the Australian international.
Jordi Gomez was next to try his luck, as Beausejour's low cross was favourable for the Spaniard, but could only put it over the bar. The pressured finally told for the Royals, as they conceded the equaliser. A low cross once again was not defended by the Reading backline, which allowed Jordi Gomez to attack the ball, despite Federici parrying his first effort, the Spaniard fired home the rebound from five yards.
Then to come was the most contentious moment of the game, as Jay Tabb was denied a stonewall penalty by Howard Webb. It looked as if the former Coventry midfielder had been sieved down by a Wigan defender, but the referee waved away any claims. Reading we're slowly starting to find some rythym in the second period and forced a fantastic save out of Al-Habsi, when Le Fondre attacked McAnuff's inviting cross.
As the Royals were denied a penalty, the Latics were then denied a goal, as Beausejour was ruled offside by the linesman. The linesman could then not prevent the home side from completing the comeback and taking the lead. Beausejour's crosses were a nuisance for the Royals defence all afternoon and were helpless in this situation, as Jordi Gomez ghosted in to score his second goal of the game.
Brian McDermott's side needed to find a way back into the game and the introduction of Garath McCleary gave the Royals a needed spark. They did find a equaliser, but in bizarre and fortuitous fashion. Robson-Kanu's long-range effort was deflected into the air and appeared easy for Al-Habsi, but the keeper somehow managed to spill it inside his left-hand post to gift the visitors an equaliser in bizarre fashion.
Both sides were going for that all crucial winner, but it was Wigan who snatched it in injury time and Jordi Gomez completed his hat trick. Reading were on the attack but the Latics broke away and Kone's cross was deflected kindly into the path of the Spaniard, who won all three points for his side.
It was a killer blow for Reading as they appeared to have at least sealed a point at the DW Stadium. However, absymal defending is costing them again and something needs to be done ASAP. We are not struggling to score goals, we just need to stop conceding them. Whether Gorkss and Gunter should be in the team once again came into question today, with very debatable performances from the both of them.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam, Figueora, Boyce, Ramis, Jones, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, Gomez, Kone
Subs: Pollitt, McManaman, Lopez, McArthur, Fyvie, Boselli, Di Santo
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre, Roberts
Subs: Taylor, Cummings, Mariappa, Harte, McCleary, Hunt, Pogrebnyak