Villa finish with a flourish to push Wigan closer to the drop
Second-half goals from James Chester and substitute Scott Hogan gave Aston Villa a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at the DW Stadium that pushes Wigan closer to relegation.
The hosts were being led for the first time by interim boss Graham Barrow, but were unable to improve on their miserable home form that contributed to Warren Joyce losing his job at the start of the week.
Wigan should have been ahead inside 15 minutes, but, after reading a short back pass from Mile Jedinak, Omar Bogle could only find the side-netting from an admittedly tight angle.
Bogle and Gabriel Obertan fired wide as Wigan tried to find a way through, with Michael Jacobs at least finding the target from a 20-yard free-kick only for goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to make a routine save.
Wigan were given a warning just before the break when Chester headed inches over from Conor Hourihane's pinpoint free-kick.
At the other end Jacobs saw a long-range shot touched round the post by Johnstone, who then did even better to deny substitute Callum Connolly from close range.
Villa showed their resources by sending on Hogan and Henri Lansbury on the hour mark to try to tip the game in their favour.
Lansbury immediately showed his quality with a couple of superb inswinging corners that caused havoc, the first being headed over by Chester and the second flying through the six-yard box, begging to be forced over the line.
Wigan continued to press, with Shaun MacDonald seeing a shot blocked and Connolly seeing a header hacked off the line by a defender.
But Wigan were made to pay for their profligacy inside the last 20 minutes as Villa scored two goals without reply.
With 17 minutes to go, Hourihane's cross was spilled by goalkeeper Matt Gilks which allowed Chester to nod home from close range.
After Bogle had been denied an equaliser by the fingertips of Johnstone, Villa made the game safe when Albert Adomah crossed for Hogan to head home from close range.