Franco di Santo's second-half goal earned Wigan a deserved draw away at fellow Premier League strugglers Fulham on Saturday as an entertaining game ended 1-1.
Di Santo's 71st minute strike - which made up for a terrible miss at the end of the first-half - was enough to see Wigan move out of the bottom three thanks to a better goal difference than Aston Villa.
Fulham, with just two wins in their last 14 Premier League games, remain mired in the relegation battle, just six points ahead of Villa.
Wigan had to make do without their most effective striker Arouna Kone, who is away for the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast, but created the first effort only for James McArthur's fine long range shot to creep over the bar.
However, it was the hosts who struck the first blow as veteran Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis unleashed a fierce effort from outside the penalty area which beat Ali al-Habsi.
It was the second successive match that Karagounis, 35 and the record caps holder for Greece with 122, had scored a similarly spectacular goal, having scored against Blackpool in the FA Cup last weekend.
McArthur had a terrific chance to level five mintues before the break but with lots of time to pick his spot he produced a soft effort that experienced Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer had no trouble in saving.
His miss was not as glaring as that of the inconsistent di Santo, who put the ball over the bar from close range four minutes later after Emmerson Boyce had set him up brilliantly.
Wigan pressed desperately for an equaliser in the second-half and Shaun Maloney went close to achieving that with a fierce 25 yard effort which was brilliantly saved by Schwarzer.
However, the visitors succeeded at last in getting a share of the points when di Santo outfoxed the home defence and shot past Schwarzer 19 minutes from time.