Reading slipped out of the play-offs as they were comprehensively beaten by Wigan, who strengthened their own place in the top six of the Championship.

A fine strike from Jordi Gomez gave Wigan a deserved opener before Martyn Waghorn converted a rebound to double their lead before the break.

Callum McManaman then smashed home off the underside of the bar for 3-0.

The result means Brighton move above Reading by a point with three games remaining.

Having lost on penalties to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend, the emphatic victory strengthens Wigan's hopes of a return to Wembley in the play-off final, as they have moved five points ahead of sixth-placed Brighton.

In-form Wigan

Wigan's win was their 14th in 24 league games under Uwe Rosler, and they have only been beaten at home once in 15 matches.

Reading had the first shot of the game through Jordan Obita in the opening minute but barely tested Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi thereafter.

McManaman had a shot parried and both he and Roger Espinoza fired into the side-netting before Gomez opened the scoring in fine style with a rasping strike from 30 yards.

James McArthur and then Gomez were denied by Royals keeper Alex McCarthy but Waghorn was in the right place to double the lead after good work from McManaman.

McCarthy made another fine save to keep out James Perch's header from Gomez's corner but McManaman made it three shortly after the interval with a confident finish from 15 yards.

Reading might have been reduced to 10 men when when Hope Akpan lunged in on Espinoza, but referee Craig Pawson elected to show only a yellow card.

McArthur should have scored but dragged his shot wide when well placed, while Michael Hector had a rare sight of goal at the other end.

Wigan travel to second-placed Burnley on Easter Monday before completing their campaign with three more matches they will believe are winnable - at home to Blackpool and away at Birmingham and Blackburn.

Wigan manager Uwe Rosler: "Before I start I would like to congratulate my former club. I'm very happy for the players, the staff, the supporters - everybody connected to Brentford [on their promotion to the Championship ]. It's a fantastic achievement.

"The first 40 minutes here was to perfection.

"We played so much as a unit, we circulated the ball very quickly and we were helped by a very good playing surface - compliments to the ground staff for allowing us to play the way we wanted.

"The goals came at the right time, sometimes you have to shoot from outside the box against teams that defend very deep, and we should do that even more often."

Reading boss Nigel Adkins: "Wigan are the best team we've played this season. They gave us more problems than anyone we've played.

"From my point of view, the level of our performance was nowhere near the level that we needed to be or expect. The three goals we conceded, we didn't stay with our runners, and we haven't dealt with situations as we should have.

"Wigan got the flow of the game in the first half, and they deservedly got control of the game. We came out in the second half determined to do better, but the third goal is a shocking goal to give away, which made it even more challenging.

"We're still in there, we're in the mix, we're in the race. There's three games to go, and it's all to play for. We need three wins, that's what we have to go and do. We'll reflect on this day and make sure that the 11 men who run out for the next game are willing to run through a brick wall."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan Athletic

  • 26 Al-Habsi
  • 24 Perch
  • 22 Beausejour
  • 16 McArthur
  • 17 Boyce
  • 25 Barnett
  • 18 Espinoza (Collison - 84' )
  • 14 Jordi Gómez
  • 33 Waghorn (Powell - 73' )
  • 15 McManaman Booked
  • 10 Maloney (Fortuné - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Carson
  • 11 McClean
  • 19 Powell
  • 29 Maynard
  • 30 Kiernan
  • 32 Fortuné
  • 34 Collison

Reading

  • 21 McCarthy
  • 02 Gunter
  • 37 Obita
  • 35 Hector
  • 05 Pearce
  • 15 Morrison
  • 23 Williams Booked (Robson-Kanu - 55' )
  • 16 Akpan Booked
  • 07 Pogrebnyak
  • 12 McCleary (Le Fondre - 84' )
  • 11 McAnuff (Blackman - 55' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Federici
  • 09 Le Fondre
  • 10 Drenthe
  • 17 Gorkss
  • 19 Robson-Kanu
  • 22 Blackman
  • 24 Cummings
Ref: Craig Pawson
Att: 14,609

Match Stats

Shots

17 6

On target

10 1

Corners

4 2

Fouls

11 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Wigan Athletic 3, Reading 0.

90:00 +3:10 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Wigan Athletic 3, Reading 0.

90:00 +1:35

Offside, Wigan Athletic. James Perch tries a through ball, but Jordi Gómez is caught offside.

90:00 +0:29

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:29

Foul by Michael Hector (Reading).

89:43

Offside, Wigan Athletic. Jordi Gómez tries a through ball, but Nick Powell is caught offside.

89:11

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Emmerson Boyce.

86:38

Foul by Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic).

86:38

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:56

Attempt missed. James Perch (Wigan Athletic) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross following a set piece situation.

85:22

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:22

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

83:48

Attempt missed. Hope Akpan (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a cross following a set piece situation.

83:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Adam Le Fondre replaces Garath McCleary.

83:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Jack Collison replaces Roger Espinoza.

82:43

Foul by Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic).

82:43

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

82:07

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

80:25

Corner, Reading. Conceded by Callum McManaman.

80:21

Attempt blocked. Michael Hector (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Garath McCleary.

79:02

Attempt saved. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marc-Antoine Fortuné.

76:30

Attempt blocked. Michael Hector (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nick Blackman.

75:28

Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alex Pearce with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

74:46

Foul by Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic).

74:46

Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

73:06

Attempt blocked. Nick Powell (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Roger Espinoza.

72:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Nick Powell replaces Martyn Waghorn.

71:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Marc-Antoine Fortuné replaces Shaun Maloney.

70:18

Attempt missed. James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jordi Gómez.

69:22

Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:22

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

68:48

Foul by Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic).

68:48

Alex Pearce (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

66:57

Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

66:57

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

63:42

James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:42

Foul by Michael Hector (Reading).

59:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

59:01

Delay in match Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) because of an injury.

58:21 Booking

Booking Hope Akpan (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

58:13

Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:13

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

56:06

James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:06

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

54:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Nick Blackman replaces Jobi McAnuff.

54:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Reading. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Daniel Williams.

53:20

Offside, Wigan Athletic. Roger Espinoza tries a through ball, but Martyn Waghorn is caught offside.

52:08

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Michael Hector.

52:06

Attempt blocked. Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James McArthur.

50:15 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 3, Reading 0. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Martyn Waghorn.

48:54

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Daniel Williams.

48:44

Attempt saved. James Perch (Wigan Athletic) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross.

48:17

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Sean Morrison.

45:00

Second Half begins Wigan Athletic 2, Reading 0.

45:00 +2:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Wigan Athletic 2, Reading 0.

45:00 +1:09

Foul by Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic).

45:00 +1:09

Michael Hector (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:06

Foul by Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic).

45:00 +0:06

Alex Pearce (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:45

Foul by Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic).

44:45

Alex Pearce (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:40 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 2, Reading 0. Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

41:35

Attempt saved. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Perch.

39:06

Foul by Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic).

39:06

Michael Hector (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:13

Attempt saved. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Roger Espinoza.

31:54

Attempt saved. James McArthur (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordi Gómez.

29:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Wigan Athletic 1, Reading 0. Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Roger Espinoza.

27:37

Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:37

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

26:19 Booking

Booking Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

26:09

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) has gone down, but that's a dive.

23:20

Attempt missed. Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordi Gómez following a corner.

22:53

Corner, Wigan Athletic. Conceded by Jordan Obita.

22:52

Attempt blocked. Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Jean Beausejour.

21:46 Booking

Booking Daniel Williams (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

21:33

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:33

Foul by Daniel Williams (Reading).

19:06

Jordi Gómez (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:06

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

18:34

Attempt missed. Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Jean Beausejour with a cross.

17:18

Martyn Waghorn (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:18

Foul by Hope Akpan (Reading).

15:42

Foul by Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic).

15:42

Michael Hector (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:17

Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

11:17

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

10:51

Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:51

Foul by Alex Pearce (Reading).

10:16

Foul by Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic).

10:16

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:54

Attempt saved. Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James McArthur.

4:30

Attempt saved. Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McArthur.

3:27

Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:27

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

1:13

Attempt saved. Jordan Obita (Reading) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

0:12

Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading).

0:12

Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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