Tottenham punished some woeful Wigan defending to secure their third Premier League victory in a row.
A mistake from Maynor Figueroa enabled Emmanuel Adebayor to set up the returning Rafael van der Vaart to net a third-minute opener.
From Luka Modric's corner, Gareth Bale escaped his marker to head home the second after 23 minutes.
Mohamed Diame pulled a goal back but Steve Gohouri was dismissed for two yellow cards as the visitors held on.
Martinez rues 'anxious' start
The early warning signs were there as Wigan conceded possession almost straight from the kick-off, and the third-minute goal will have had home fans fearing another 2009-style
The opener was a moment to forget for Figueroa, whose sloppy control and wayward back pass let Adebayor in to tee up Van der Vaart, who finished with aplomb.
There was visible tension in the home ranks and the Wigan defence descended into bickering after confusion between goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi and Ben Watson.
The home side offered little of note at the other end, although Brad Friedel was called into action to keep out Victor Moses's effort from Jordi Gomez's free-kick.
KEY MATCH FACTS
Tottenham have won three Premier League matches in a row for the first time since February
Steve Gohouri received his first red card in English football
Wigan's worries at the back continued as Gary Caldwell was forced into a risky header behind for a corner from another Spurs attack - and from that corner, it was two for the visitors.
Modric swung the ball in and Bale was able to steal in and head goalwards, and with no men on either post, his effort flew into the back of the net.
The lessons had clearly not been learned by the home side as from another corner Bale was again allowed an effort on goal, but this time he was off-target.
Adebayor shot wide as Spurs continued to terrorise the nervy home side, with a foul throw from Gohouri summing up the lacklustre first-half efforts of the Latics.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez made a change at the break, with Ronnie Stam replacing Gomez, and the Dutchman made an immediate impact as he played a major part in Diame's 50th-minute strike.
Redknapp critical of defence
Stam charged down Benoit Assou-Ekotto's attempted clearance and after the ball came back to him he found Diame, who held off Younes Kaboul with some neat footwork before driving a low shot inside the left-hand post.
But Wigan's impetus in the second half was lost in the 62nd minute when Gohouri was shown a second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Bale.
Spurs could have extended their lead when Kaboul saw his deflected free-kick rattle the crossbar, and although Wigan put some late pressure on, the visitors were able to see out the win.
Harry Redknapp's men are up to sixth after the win, but the defeat was Wigan's fourth in a row in all competitions and leaves them 15th, just two points off the foot of the table.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It was complete domination in the first half and we could have come in three or four ahead.
"I said the only way they'd get in the game is if we did something stupid.
"We gave a sloppy goal away trying to play it in the box, got punished and it changed everything."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:
"It doesn't matter how well Spurs played in the first half, the frustration was that the two goals were soft - but I couldn't be prouder of the second-half performance with 10 men.
"We looked like a team that could get something out of it and I'm disappointed we didn't get a result.
"It was a fantastic reaction and the players deserve credit."
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Gary Caldwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luka Modric. Benoit Assou-Ekotto restarts play with the free kick.
Emmanuel Adebayor is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
90:00 +2:59 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Emmanuel Adebayor for dissent.
Patrick Van Aanholt takes a shot. Blocked by Kyle Walker.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses by Jake Livermore. Direct free kick taken by James McArthur.
Substitution Jake Livermore comes on in place of Raniere Sandro.
Conor Sammon has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
James McArthur has an effort at goal from 35+ yards. Brad Friedel makes a save.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gareth Bale, Headed effort from inside the area by Younes Kaboul misses to the left of the target.
Younes Kaboul takes a shot.
Dos Santos Giovani fouled by Gary Caldwell, the ref awards a free kick. Luka Modric takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on Kyle Walker by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.
Luka Modric takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.
Free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.
Substitution Dos Santos Giovani is brought on as a substitute for Rafael Van der Vaart.
Kyle Walker concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Moses.
Free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Booking Conor Sammon is booked.
Foul by Conor Sammon on Scott Parker, free kick awarded.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution James McArthur on for Ben Watson.
Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Conor Sammon coming on for Franco Di Santo.
Ronnie Stam challenges Gareth Bale unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Rafael Van der Vaart, Younes Kaboul produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
The ball is sent over by Gareth Bale, Ronnie Stam manages to make a clearance.
Direct free kick taken by Scott Parker.
Booking The referee books James McCarthy for unsporting behaviour.
James McCarthy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker.
Victor Moses takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
The ball is delivered by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Corner taken right-footed by Ben Watson to the near post, clearance by Gareth Bale.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto delivers the ball, Gary Caldwell manages to make a clearance.
Rafael Van der Vaart restarts play with the free kick.
Dismissal Steve Gohouri sent from the field by the ref for second bookable offence.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gareth Bale by Steve Gohouri.
Emmanuel Adebayor challenges Gary Caldwell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.
Gareth Bale concedes a free kick for a foul on Mohamed Diame. Free kick taken by Mohamed Diame.
The ball is delivered by Rafael Van der Vaart, Ali Al Habsi makes a comfortable save.
The ball is sent over by Patrick Van Aanholt.
Corner taken by Luka Modric, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa. Outswinging corner taken by Luka Modric, clearance made by Patrick Van Aanholt. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luka Modric.
Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.
Ronnie Stam provided the assist for the goal.
49:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Mohamed Diame - Wigan 1 - 2 Tottenham Mohamed Diame finds the net with a goal from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 1-2 Tottenham.
Ben Watson concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Van der Vaart. Benoit Assou-Ekotto restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Victor Moses, clearance by Younes Kaboul.
The match restarts for the second half.
Substitution Jordi Gomez goes off and Ronnie Stam comes on.
45:00 +2:22 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Luka Modric, Ledley King has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
Rafael Van der Vaart decides to take the corner short.
Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.
Emmanuel Adebayor is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Patrick Van Aanholt.
Unfair challenge on Kyle Walker by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.
Jordi Gomez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Direct free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Luka Modric takes the outswinging corner, Header on goal by Gareth Bale from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Ledley King restarts play with the free kick.
Booking Steve Gohouri goes into the referee's book.
Gareth Bale fouled by Steve Gohouri, the ref awards a free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Parker on Ben Watson. Ben Watson takes the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Raniere Sandro by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ledley King.
Assist on the goal came from Luka Modric.
22:35 Goal scored
Goal! - Gareth Bale - Wigan 0 - 2 Tottenham Gareth Bale finds the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Wigan 0-2 Tottenham.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Luka Modric from the right by-line,
Centre by Kyle Walker, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
Foul by Gary Caldwell on Rafael Van der Vaart, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Bale.
Headed effort from deep inside the area by Kyle Walker misses to the left of the goal.
The ball is delivered by Gareth Bale, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Patrick Van Aanholt. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses by Raniere Sandro. Jordi Gomez delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Brad Friedel.
Shot from deep inside the area by Emmanuel Adebayor goes over the bar.
Emmanuel Adebayor provided the assist for the goal.
2:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Rafael Van der Vaart - Wigan 0 - 1 Tottenham Rafael Van der Vaart finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Wigan 0-1 Tottenham.
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