Wigan Athletic showed their promotion credentials with an emphatic 2-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Will Grigg gave Latics the lead on 52 minutes from the penalty spot after Yanic Wildschut was brought down in the box by Chris Basham.
Everton loanee Conor McAleny then lashed in the second from the edge of the area on 55 minutes, before Grigg had a second penalty saved with 15 minutes remaining after Chris McCann was fouled by by Paul Coutts.
Latics continue their rise up the table, moving into third place and now only one point off an automatic promotion place.
Wigan made two changes going into the match with loanee Conor McAleny making his debut and Sam Morsy making his first full start for the club.
Latics looked confident right from the kick off, passing the ball with ease and dominating possession for most of the first half.
The Blades rarely threatened and when they did the Latics defence coped comfortably with captain Craig Morgan marshalling the defence superbly.
However, despite controlling proceedings Latics were unable to carve out any clear cut openings in the opening period as United defended in depth.
The second half opened with United creating the first clear opportunity when Billy Sharp forced an excellent save from Jussi Jaaskelainen low down to his right.
Latics went down the other end and the lively McAleny forced a good save from George Long.
On 49 minutes Latics went ahead. Yanic Wildschut drove powerfully into the United box and was brought down by Chris Basham. Will Grigg stepped up and converted the penalty, high into the middle of the goal.
Three minutes later Latics doubled their lead. Wildschut cut in from the left before passing to Max Power, who teed up the ball for McAleny and the young loanee lashed the ball into the bottom corner of Long’s net from 20 yards out.
Latics continued to drive forward. Daniels cross was cleared by Adams for a corner. Then McAleny evaded two challenges before putting in a dangerous cross, but no Wigan player was on hand to finish.
United had an opportunity in the 65th minute but Jay McEveley fired wide of the target from a good position.
With 15 minutes remaining Latics won a second penalty, Paul Coutts unnecessarily bringing down McCann in the box.
Grigg once again stepped up, but this time he sent his spot kick low down to the Long’s left and the keeper made a good save.
As the match moved towards full time Latics survived a couple of late goalmouth scrambles but overall they were good value for the win.
Gary Caldwell had got his tactics spot on as Latics took control of the game in the first half and then upped the tempo in the second half to deservedly take the three points
Wigan’s squad has been strengthened during the transfer window, they are playing with confidence, the momentum is with them and an automatic promotion place is now within their reach.