So often the hero but at the City of Manchester Stadium Ali Al Habsi had a moment that he will quickly want to forget as his failure to hold onto a David Silva shot gave Roberto Mancini’s side all three points.
The result combined with others elsewhere leaves Wigan with a uphill battle against relegation.
Roberto Martinez made a couple of changes to the side that started against the Manchester United last week with Charles N’Zogbia and Steve Gohouri beginning the game on the bench to make way for Tom Cleverley and Adrian Lopez who was making his first league start since joining the club.
There was also a place amongst the substitutes for Conor Sammon and it was the deadline day signing that almost rescued a point for Wigan at the death.
The 23-year-old had been a prolific goalscorer this season for his former club Kilmarnock and was inches away from opening his account at Wigan when his low shot in time added on brushed past the outside of the far post.
The normally dependable Al Habsi began the game by struggling with a tame shot from Mario Balotelli that should of been a routine save but was instead pushed behind at the expense of a corner.
David Silva and Carlos Tevez both saw efforts go wide and Wigan also went close through Hugo Rodallega, whose shot was blocked.
One contentious moment in the game arrived in the 17th minute when Micah Richards’ rash challenge on Tom Cleverley apparantly only warranted a yellow card when in fact it deserved a red – the City defender indeed lucky to remain on the pitch.
James McCarthy may have done better with his effort which he fired wide after good work from the lively Victor Moses.
Moments later Wigan found themselves behind thanks to Al Habsi’s out of character blunder. The Omani keeper went down to make a relatively simple save from David Silva’s low effort but only succeeded to knock the ball between his legs and into the net.
The start of the second half almost saw Wigan draw level with Antolin Alcarez hitting the upright from a Ben Watson corner and then McCarthy forced a decent save from Joe Hart with his effort from 20 yards out.
Charles N’Zogbia was thrown into the mix on the hour mark with Victor Moses making way for the Frenchman but his introduction could not inspire Wigan into finding the all important equalising goal.
However they went very close in the closing exchanges first through Hugo Rodallega who could have done with a bit more composure on the ball when he shot straight at Hart.
Then debutant Conor Sammon played a neat one-two with Rodallega but saw his low drive sail agonisingly wide of the far post with Hart well beaten.
The result leaves Wigan firmly planted at the foot of the table and with West Ham and West Brom both winning a win against Birmingham City at the DW Stadium next week would not get them out of the bottom three.