At times it did seem like it was top versus bottom but for the most part, Wigan made City fight very hard for the victory as Roberto Mancini's men shrugged off a two-game losing streak following defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool in the FA and Carling Cups respectively.
City had basically controlled the play from the outset with the only goal coming in the 22nd minute after some pressure was applied by the visitors. David Silva whipped in a free-kick from the left flank for Edin Dzeko to knock home a fine header from outside the six-yard box to Ali Al Habsi's back post for his 11th in 17 league appearances this season.
Al Habsi was a constant thorn in City's side, making a handful of top saves throughout the match, but in the end Dzeko's opener was enough to record a 16th victory of the campaign.
Just prior to the half-hour mark, James McArthur was able to test Joe Hart with his curling attempt before Al Habsi came up with a crucial save late in the first half after when Silva played in Sergio Aguero with the Omani doing ever so well to deny the Argentine.
Al Habsi kept Wigan in the match early in the second half, first making an acrobatic save to deny Dzeko before Silva's effort from the rebound was also blocked by the Latics gloveman.
Wigan were enjoying a charmed life for a small session when Aguero made a barnstorming run all the way inside the six-yard box but as he went to pull the trigger, Dzeko got in the way to take the shot himself which was very tame and hardly tested Al Habsi.
They were lucky again in the 63rd minute when Gael Clichy's cross from the left took a triple deflection and almost rolled in off Gary Caldwell but the Latics were at least trying to make a game of it and almost leveled in the 70th minute when Hart got his foot in the way of McArthur's angled attempt.
The 82nd minute saw Al Habsi again produce a top save when Dzeko's long range effort took a sharp deflection off Caldwell moments before Aguero missed the target in uncustomary fashion but City managed to edge their spirited opponents who have now gone six matches without a win.
TRIBAL ASKS: Man City looked well below par but managed to get the required result, however, if Silva or Aguero happens to get injured whilst Yaya Toure is away, could they have some problems?
DW Stadium, Wigan - 16,026