Wigan recorded their first win in seven games with a comfortable 3-0 win against an Aston Villa side who have now conceded 15 goals in the last three games and are sliding towards relegation.
The returning Ivan Ramis gave Wigan the lead in only the third minute when he rose unchallenged to head home a corner by Jean Beausejour. Villa are going through a torrid time with heavy defeats against Chelsea (8-0) and Spurs (4-0) and this was the worst possible start for an inexperienced team. However it was a huge confidence booster for Wigan who had not been getting the results their performances had deserved.
Latics were immediately on top and Shaun Maloney should have been awarded a penalty when he had his legs taken from under him in the box by Stephen Ireland but as in the recent Everton game he was inexplicably denied by the referee.
The away side were bossing possession and Villa looked remarkably uncomfortable for a Premier League outfit, their lack of inexperience was far all too see as Wigan camped in the Villa half.
Shaun Maloney and Arouna Kone both blazed shots over the cross bar in the opening 15 minutes and Latics could have been three ahead in the opening half hour.
Wigan did lose their impetus towards half time and Villa nearly drew level when Christian Benteke had a goal disallowed because Andreas Weimann was in an offside position. Brett Holman also went close for Villa before the break when the Australian fired against the cross bar from close range.
But early in the second half Wigan took a firm grip of proceedings after a sublime piece of attacking play. Emmerson Boyce surged forward and played an intricate one-two with Arouna Kone before placing his low shot into the corner of the Villa goal.
Wigan increased their lead in the 56th minute when Kone got in on the scoresheet as he took a through pass from Franco Di Santo before rounding the Villa keeper and finishing from a tight angle.
At 3-0 the game was effectively over, but Paul Lambert made a triple substitution in an attempt to gain some respectability, with El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton replacing Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.
Villa proceeded to launch high balls into the Wigan area but Ramis, Caldwell and Figueroa coped admirably and the home side were denied any clear cut opportunities.
Wigan had a couple of good opportunities on the counter attack and should have added to their tally, but a 0-3 away win was a very pleasing and much needed result.
Despite the dreadful weather and poor road conditions the Latics fans were in jubilant mood as they made their way back up the M6 to Wigan. The team had climbed out of the relegation places and above Villa to 16th place in the table.