Wigan vs. Reading: Final score 3-2 as Gomez hattrick downs Royals

Paul Thomas

Jordi Gomez got a hattrick at the DW Stadium and it wasn't even the strangest thing that happened there today. Wigan Athletic managed to beat Reading 3-2 on the strength of said hattrick, but they left it very, very late -- 91 minutes had elapsed before Gomez's final strike -- and were the victims of a bizarre gaffe from star goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

For a while, it looked as though Reading were in very good shape. Sean Morrison was able to get on the end of a deflected free kick and power a header past al-Habsi to give the Royals a 1-0 lead before halftime, and Gomez didn't manage to respond until the hour mark, shooting straight at Adam Federici, collecting the rebound and then prodding home from close range.

Gomez's next effort was decidedly less messy. Jean Beausejour's left-wing cross was at an awkward angle for the midfielder, but he reacted with a lovely diving header to give the Latics their first lead of the game. And that's when Ali Al-Habsi decided to... I don't know what he decided to do, but it was something.

In the 78th minute, a deflected shot looked to be no problem for the goalkeeper, who'd be able to push it over the crossbar with minimal effort. But it went horribly, horribly wrong. Instead of palming the ball over the bar, he instead hit it into the woodwork. The football then, rather than doing the decent thing and bouncing straight in, opted to add insult to injury by ricocheting back into Al-Habsi's head before settling just over the line.

I can't imagine Wigan fans found that one as amusing as the rest of us did, but they got their three points anyway when Arouna Kone took full advantage of a breakway, slipping the ball behind a stretched Reading defence for Gomez to power home his third in the 92nd minute. Now they can look back on Al-Habsi's festival of hilarity and laugh as hard as we did.

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