Wigan cruise as Reading fall
Wigan bounced back from their FA Cup semi-final disappointment with a routine 3-0 victory over Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.
Uwe Rosler's men are hoping for a return trip to Wembley for the end-of-season play-off final next month. And it would take a brave man to bet against them on the basis of this one-sided clash against one of their play-off rivals.
Jordi Gomez grabbed the opening goal on the half-hour mark with a rasping strike from 30 yards that Alex McCarthy could not get anywhere near.
Martyn Waghorn made it 2-0 shortly before the interval on the volley, after Callum McManaman's shot had been parried by the Royals goalkeeper.
And the points were secure six minutes after the restart when Waghorn teed up McManaman, whose shot flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
If anything the scoreline flattered Reading, who had the first shot of the game through Jordan Obita in the opening minute and did not test the Wigan goalkeeper thereafter.
Al Habsi was perhaps a little fortunate to get away with his first involvement, fumbling the initial shot before regathering. After that it was virtually one-way traffic, with the only question being how many Wigan would score.
McManaman had a shot parried away by McCarthy, before the same player and then Roger Espinoza fired into the side-netting.
Waghorn got free down the left only for his cross to fizz across the six-yard box, but it was no surprise to see Gomez open the scoring from Wigan's next attack.
McArthur and then Gomez were denied by McCarthy as Wigan went for the jugular.
And the home side doubled their lead before the break when Waghorn was in the right place at the right time after good work from McManaman.
It was nearly 3-0 within seconds of the restart when James Perch's header from Gomez's corner was superbly tipped away by McCarthy.
But the goalkeeper had no answer shortly after when McManaman blasted past him from 15 yards.
Reading were fortunate to keep all 11 men on the field when Hope Akpan lunged in on Espinoza, referee Craig Pawson electing to brandish only yellow.
It did little to knock Wigan out of their stride, and McArthur should have made it four - only to pull his shot wide of the mark.
Reading's Michael Hector had a rare sight of goal at the other end, only to fire wide of the mark.
But the rest of the game was merely a procession as Wigan conserved energy ahead of Monday's trip to Burnley.