GOALS from Jordi Gomez, Martyn Waghorn and Callum McManaman saw Latics bounce back from Wembley heartache in fine style.
Reading went into the game in sixth spot in the knowledge a win would take them level with Latics and crank up the play-off pressure.
But right from the off it was men against boys as the home side took a huge step towards cementing their top-six place.
With Shaun Maloney and McManaman supporting Waghorn in a new-look front three, Latics put in arguably their best performance of the season.
Gomez opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with a magnificent strike from 30 yards that was past Alex McCarthy before he could move.
Waghorn volleyed home number two from close range after McManaman’s shot had been half-saved by the Royals goalkeeper.
James Perch nearly added a third shortly after the restart only for McCarthy to tip the ball away to safety.
But Latics did make it 3-0 moments later when Waghorn played in McManaman, who blasted home in off the bar.
Latics could probably have pushed for further goals but elected to keep the ball for most of the remainder.
Reading battled hard, but had only Jordan Obita’s first-minute shot which Ali Al Habsi gathered at the second attempt to show for their efforts.
FOR A FULL MATCH REPORT, REACTION AND PICTURES, SEE SATURDAY’S WIGAN EVENING POST