Carlos Tevez raised Manchester City's hopes of a Champions League slot with a quick fire hat-trick in a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wigan.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 55th minute of this Barclays Premier League match when Gary Caldwell was handed a straight red card for a challenge on Tevez.
The Argentinian striker took advantage to score his treble in the space of 13 minutes to take City above Liverpool and into fifth place.
Emmanuel Adebayor, back in the team after a four-match suspension, got into a good position in the 10th minute, only for Titus Bramble to block his effort.
Wigan, however, continued to look dangerous going forward and Shay Given pushed Paul Scharner's shot to safety after a free-kick from Marcelo Moreno had been deflected off the wall.
Wigan were reduced to 10 men in the 55th minute with former Celtic defender Caldwell handed a straight red card as he tried to win the ball off Tevez.
The visitors were furious with referee Stuart Attwell but they pulled themselves together and almost went ahead. Moreno got the better of Kolo Toure and cut inside but his effort went marginally wide.
City made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute after a mix up between Scharner and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic allowed Adebayor to get the slightest of touches in the penalty area. That was enough to free Tevez, who made Wigan pay for their error with a clinical finish.
Adebayor should have added a second but Scharner made up ground before Tevez added a second in the 75th minute.
He scored at the back post after Vincent Kompany had flicked on a cross from Adam Johnson and completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute. He skipped away from a tiring Scharner and Bramble to chip into the corner.