Reading FC Match Report: 2012/2013 Season - Premier League


Reading: --
Wigan: A Kone (44 mins, 45 mins), M Figueroa (48 mins).

It is hard to find anything positive to say about this dismal performance from the Royals as they slumped to a disappointing defeat at home to the team, which before today’s game, were second from bottom of the Premier League. Wigan on a run of poor form were made to look very good by a below par Reading side. Brian McDermott so often gets his selection right it is hard to criticise his decisions but today he surrendered the initiative by picking a very defensive midfield trio of Leigertwood, Karacan and Akpan. In a catastrophic six minutes either side of half time Reading conceded three goals and the game was effectively over. Pogrebnyak’s sending off extinguished any faint hopes of recovery and Wigan played the game out comfortably, only prevented from inflicting greater misery by a string of excellent saves by Federici. Reading failed to register a single shot on target in the entire game.

Wigan took full advantage of a tentative start by Reading and almost scored in the third minute when Di Santo wriggled past Karacan, in spite of several illegal attempts to stop him, and it took a very good save from Federici to deflect his shot wide for a corner. Reading’s defensive midfield successfully flattened passing Wigan’s angles forcing them sideways and backwards but when they did win possession, the quality of passing was poor and they soon found themselves backpedalling again. Reading did enjoy a few forays into the Wigan half. Akpan mistimed his leap and got underneath a good cross to head over from close range with the goal at his mercy. Kebe hit the side netting when the ball fell to him at the far post, and it took an outstanding tackle by Sharner to deny Pogrebnyak a scoring opportunity at the near post from an early low Kebe cross. Shortly before half time Reading hit a particularly bad patch and failed miserably to find each other with even simple short passes. Wigan took the lead from a corner through Kone. It was a scrappy goal and subsequently found to be the product of a handling offence by Caldwell. Then, in added time, sloppy play from Morrison conceded possession on the half way line and Beausejour found Kone in acres of space who clipped the ball into the net over a defenceless Federici to send Reading in two nil down at the interval. Harte, not for the first time, was caught out of position and unable to recover. The booing that signalled the end of the half was understandable but unforgiveable. No true fan should boo their own team.

Substitutions came thick and fast for Reading in the second half. Hunt, Le Fondre and McCleary were all thrown into the fray in desperation. Le Fondre was on from the start of the half to give a more attacking formation. It made little difference. Pogrebnyak was not having his best game but as usual he had lacked support in the first half. Appalling defending put the result beyond doubt as Reading naively allowed Figueroa play a one two on the edge of the box to make it three nil with a good finish. Not only were there huge holes in the defence but also nobody seemed to want to take responsibility for ‘going with the runner’. Pogrebnyak, clearly hacked off with the whole thing, stepped across Figueroa to block his run and, in my view harshly, received a red card. If goal difference keeps Reading in the Premier League this season, then Federici will be able to claim responsibility for survival for his saves as Wigan stroked the ball around opening up Reading on several occasions. The ground was virtually empty by the end as Reading fans began drifting away long before the end. (The official attendance of 22,321 was hard to believe!) On this occasion the ‘early leavers’ didn’t miss much. There was a strong whiff of relegation in the air.
John Wells

This Premier League game took place 2923 days ago in the 2012/2013 season.