What a fantastic performance from start to finish, controlled football, slick passing, great movement, good defending from all over the pitch and three goals two of which were simply top draw, no wonder Brian McDermott and his Reading players looked shell shocked
Going into the game the Royals must have really fancied their chances having picked up ten points from the last five Premier League games, but they were simply blown away in a game that the Latics totally dominated possession (70%), and out passed Reading with 661 passes to 273
Within two minutes of the game starting Di Santo went close only to be thwarted by an excellent save from Federici, who kept the score-line respectable with a string of fine stops. Di Santo picked the ball up on the half way line and, despite attempts to foul him, shrugged off three challenges as he charged to the edge of the Reading box, he unleashed a daisy cutter that the Reading keeper did well to get a firm hand to and push out for a corner.
Next up Arouna Kone had a great effort saved by Federici, Boyce retrieved the ball on the edge of the Reading box, played it back into the danger area where Kone hit a first time effort that Federici just managed to palm away for a corner.
Reading had their one meaningful effort shortly after this, a corner from the left found its way to Jimmy Kebe at the far post who hit a tame effort into the side netting, the Latics comfortably dealt with Readings attacking threat after this
The only surprise about the first half was that it took 44 minutes to take the lead, a Shaun Maloney corner was headed on by Gary Caldwell, Maynor Figueroa connected at the near post with his head and the ball smashed into the chest of Arouna Kone before crossing the line, 0-1
Right on half time the Latics doubled their lead, Di Santo pushed the ball to Beausejour on the Latics left, just inside his own half, the Chile international looked up to see Kone in acres of space over on the right, he hit a cross-field ball that fell into the path of the Latics striker, Kone raced into the Reading box, drew out Federici and hit a delightful chip into the net, 0-2
Reading brought on Adam Le Fondre at half-time but within three minutes of the restart it was the Latics who found the net again, Maynor Figueroa brought the ball out of defence and into the Reading half, he passed to Shaun Maloney, who in turn found Beausejour, he knocked the ball back to the advancing Figueroa who played a one-two with Franco Di Santo that split the Reading defence wide open, the Honduras international strode into the area, opened his body and hit a side-footed effort under the advancing Federici, 0-3
Moments later it could have been four, Boyce delivered a fantastic cross along the ground, Di Santo charged in and was millimetres away from getting a connection in front of an open goal
Reading were down to ten men on 56 minutes, Figueroa was bringing the ball out of defence when he was viciously stamped upon by striker Pogrebnyak, maybe borne out of frustration but it was a cynical challenge and referee Phil Dowd, who was just feet away, had no option but to show him the red card
Figueroa, Gomez and Kone all went close again for the Latics, but Federici was in fine form and he kept the score-line respectable
A brilliant performance from a Latics side that were so dominant that it was embarrassing, more performances like this and we’ll be clear of teh danger zone sooner rather than later
Reading – Federici, Kelly, Harte, Mariappa, Morrison, Karacan (McCleary 71), Leigertwood, Akpan (Le Fondre 46), Kebe (Hunt 63), McAnuff (c), Pogrebnyak
Unused subs – Taylor, Shorey, Pearce, Robson-Kanu
Latics – Al-Habsi, Boyce (Alcaraz 83), Figueroa, Caldwell (c), McArthur, McCarthy, Scharner, Maloney, Beausejour, Di Santo (Gomez 75), Kone
Unused subs – Robles, Stam, Espinoza, McManaman, Henriquez