Manchester City moved up to fifth in the English Premier League table with a 3-0 win over Wigan at Eastlands on Monday to stay within touching distance of a Champions League spot for next season.
But City needed Wigan's Gary Caldwell to be sent off 10 minutes into the second half before Carlos Tevez bagged a hat-trick in just under a quarter of an hour to take his tally to 25 for the season and 21 in 19 appearances.
Monday's score line made it appear much more comfortable for Roberto Mancini's side than it was.
Wigan began strongly, finding it easy to contain the hosts and threatening to go ahead themselves.
But 10 minutes into the second period, Wigan saw Caldwell sent off for a challenge on Tevez.
Still though it was Wigan pressing the initiative before City were able to make the breakthrough thanks to poor goalkeeping from Vladimir Stojkovic.
Patrick Vieira clipped the ball over the top and the Serb goalkeeper rushed out but failed to make any challenge, allowing Tevez to roll the ball into the net.
City doubled the lead soon after when Adam Johnson fired a cross to the far post that was flicked on by Vincent Kompany and Tevez found the corner of the net.
Tevez then completed his hat-trick when he broke clear, beat the challenge of Maynor Figueroa and found the corner of the net with a precise shot.
City are now two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who still have to travel to Eastlands.