Troy Deeney grabbed a brace as Watford moved to the top of the Championship and kept Wigan deep in relegation trouble.
Deeney was once again the difference between the two sides in a hard-fought contest. The prolific striker had scored two in the fixture at Vicarage Road in December and he was able to repeat the act at the DW Stadium.
The 19 goal striker headed home Adlene Guedioura’s cross early in the second half and later converted a penalty after Fernando Forestieri was brought down in the penalty area by Emmerson Boyce.
Latics matched their high-flying opponents for much of the game but once again lacked any cutting edge on home soil. Watford’s plethora of goalscoring players contrasts markedly with Wigan’s lack of marksmen.
Malky Mackay made one change from the team which won at Rotherham, with Leon Clarke coming in for the suspended James McClean.
Latics attacked from the kick off but the Hornets dealt comfortably with their early forays.
Wigan created the first opportunity in the tenth minute, when full back Gaetan Bong curled his effort from the edge of the area over the Watford crossbar.
Watford responded when Guedioura unleashed a shot from range, but Ali Al-Habsi saved comfortably.
The first real danger came in the 25 minute when Ali Al-Habsi made a great save to deny Deeney’s diving header.
Latics then had a goal disallowed for offside. Leon Clarke broke clear of the Watford back line and slotted home, only for referee David Coote to call the play back for offside.
Deeney was Watford’s biggest threat, and the striker nearly got on the score sheet before the interval, when his near post header was well saved by Al-Habsi.
But Latics nearly went ahead just on the stroke of half time when Sheyi Ojo forced his way down the left and his cross found Marc-Antoine Fortune, but the striker’s effort was saved by Heurelho Gomes.
It was a fairly even match at half time with neither side having gained the upper hand.
Early in the second half Sheyi Ojo blazed over the crossbar following a great cross by Jermaine Pennant.
But two minutes later the Hornets were ahead. Guedioura’s deep cross found Deeney at the back post and the Watford captain powered his header past Al-Habsi.
Malky Mackay almost immediately replaced the out-of-sorts Jermaine Pennant with new loan signing Josh Murphy.
Watford might have doubled their lead on 6o minutes when Guedioura broke free but his shot went just wide of the target.
Murphy was starting to make an impact down the right hand side and his cross found James Perch, whose acrobatic effort went just wide of the left post.
Watford were growing in confidence however, and their organisation and determination was becoming increasingly impressive.
On 75 minutes Joel Ekstrand might have increased the lead but his shot went narrowly wide of Al-Habsi’s left post.
Latics were still battling hard, but failing to create any clear-cut openings.
Watford once again threatened and Emmerson Boyce came to Latics rescue when he made an acrobatic goal-line clearance to deny Guedioura’s effort.
But the points were sealed on 90 minutes when Boyce was forced into conceding a penalty by fouling Forestieri and Deeney converted the spot kick.
Watford moved to the top of the table on goal difference and Latics continue to languish in the relegation zone having not won at the DW Stadium in seven months.