Goals from Michael Jacobs, Nick Powell and Ivan Toney sent Wigan to the top of Sky Bet League One on goal difference thanks to a convincing 3-0 victory over Southend.
Although Powell and Toney's goals came in the last six minutes, the scoreline in no way flattered the home side, who were head and shoulders above their opponents even before Jermaine McGlashan was sent off on the hour mark for a two-footed lunge on Callum Elder.
Jacobs had opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with a 30-yard strike that took a massive deflection off John White to wrong-foot goalkeeper Mark Oxley.
Wigan failed to finish off their opponents despite dominating the play, although their task became easier on the hour mark when Southend were reduced to 10 men.
Nevertheless, the result remained in the balance until the last 10 minutes, when Powell sprung the offside trap and rounded Oxley before firing into an empty net.
Then, with Southend beaten at last, substitute Toney added number three with two minutes to go.