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Match Reports

Report | Yakou wins it at the death!

Our account from stunning comeback in RG2

9 March 2019

Yakou Méïté was the man of the hour, as his goal in the eighth minute of added time sealed a 3-2 win for Reading against Wigan Athletic. Incredible scenes at Madejski Stadium!

Mo Barrow looked like he’d rescued a point for Reading when he slammed in an 89th-minute equaliser.

The Latics led twice, and each time were pegged back. Nick Powell’s strike was cancelled out by a John Swift free-kick before the break, and then Joe Garner volleyed the visitors back into the lead.

But Barrow had other ideas, rasping home a corking strike in the 89th minute. But he was shown up by Méïté, who converted a corner deep, deep into additional time to send the decibels through the Madejski Stadium roof.

Manager José Gomes made just a single change to the Royals' starting XI after last weekend's win in Ipswich - match-winner Modou Barrow replaced the injured Nélson Oliveira in the team.

Emiliano Martínez had recovered sufficiently from his calf problem to start the the game between the sticks, while on the bench were Ryan East and Michael Olise - both potential debutants.

Yakou Méïté began the game wide on the right, with Barrow the most advanced of the forward three. And the Ivorian was close to giving the Royals an early lead as he collected wide, skipped through some challenges, and hit a rasping effort which dipped fractionally over Jamie Jones' bar.

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After a ten-minute spell in which Reading had had almost exclusive possession of the ball, Wigan began to gain a bit of a foothold to quieten the home support.

And a bit of a mix-up in defence for the Royals was nearly punished; a loose pass under pressure was snaffled up, allowing Nick Powell to tee up skipper Sam Morsy, but Reading captain Liam Moore put in a trademark block.

The Latics also showed they had breaking power when they turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Garath McCleary had a shot blocked after John Swift's free-kick caused trouble; that allowed Antonee Robinson to get to the byline and hang up a cross which was just over Powell.

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But then, with 20 minutes played, the Latics converted. Stealing possession in the Reading half, Michael Jacobs popped in a low cross which Powell deftly tucked inside the far post.

Swift went within a whisker of levelling, shortly after the half-hour. Barrow's pace down the flank drew the foul from Nathan Byrne; Royals players flooded the box from the resulting free-kick but the midfielder's effort flashed just past the far post.

Then Tyler Blackett's overlapping run down the left allowed him to get to the byline and pull back for Garath McCleary; his first-time strike was comfortably taken by Jones.

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Reading's first change was enforced. An injury to Ovie Ejaria meant that Danny Loader was called into action early on.

The fixture was becoming increasingly scrappy - untidy and unfair challenges going in from both sides in a bid to get control of the game. Matt Miazga and Joe Garner both saw yellow for their part in a fracas.

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Just before the break, Reading went level. Smart forward-play by Loader drew the foul just outside the area, and Swift stepped over it. His strike oozed class - swerving beyond the reach of Jones, into the far corner, sending the Royals supporters into raptures.

Half-time: Reading 1-1 Wigan Athletic

Gavin Massey registered the first shot of the second-half; a fizzing half-volley was hard and low and needed fielding well by Martínez.

Soon after, a lengthy delay - Moore's sliding challenge was hearty and committed, but badly timed. Robinson and Reece James each needed treatment for a heavy collision, while the Royals man was booked.

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Then it was Moore who needed treatment. Worrying scenes as the captain went down holding his shoulder, but after a little bit of attention from the physios, he was back up and battling.

The second half had been devoid of opportunities, until the Latics gobbled up a chance. Massey picked off a pass in the Royals half; Powell went looking for a second and had an effort blocked by Baker; his acrobatic effort on the follow-up was wayward, but turned into a perfect cross for Garner to volley in at the back post. Galling for Reading.

The deficit could have been further extended when Massey again got in down the right and flashed a ball across the face of goal; Martínez's reactions were immense to keep out Powell from six yards.

The clock ticked down quickly; an exercise in game management by the visitors, who dragged out every foul, substitution and throw-in. They still looked go further ahead and a short free-kick routine allowed Morsy a sight of goal from 20 yards, forcing the Reading goalie into a flying save.

But the team never stopped believing. And in the 89th minute, it was that man again. Picking the ball up in space, Barrow assessed his options and decided to shoot from the best part of 25 yards... and the sheer power sent it flying into the bottom corner. Cue delirium.

The drama wasn't over. All that time-wasting led to seven added minutes... in the last of those, Blackett flicked on a corner and Méïté nodded in.

Amazing scenes on the final whistle.

Full-time: Reading 3-2 Wigan Athletic

Reading: Martínez, Yiadom, Blackett, Moore (c), Miazga, Ejaria (Loader 36), Baker, Swift, McCleary (Harriott 67), Barrow, Méïté.
Subs: Walker, Gunter, McShane, East, Olise.
Goals: Swift (45+3), Barrow (89).
Yellow: Miazga, Moore.

Wigan Athletic: Jones, Morsy (c), James, Byrne, Robinson, Dunkley, Olsson, Jacobs, Massey (Naismith 74), Powell (Clarke 77), Garner (Windass 90+3).
Subs: Evans, Kipre, Gibson, Roberts.
Goals: Powell (20), Garner (64).
Yellow: Garner, Robinson, Jacobs.

Referee: Mr A Davies

Attendance: 15,401 (588 away).


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