Wigan are out of the Premier League relegation zone after a Franco Di Santo thunderbolt earned a 1-1 draw at Fulham.
Fulham were the better side early on and opened the scoring through a sensational Giorgos Karagounis strike midway through the half.
However Wigan dug in after the break and Di Santo, who had missed a couple of great chances, finally hit the back of the net with around 20 minutes left with an even better effort into the top corner.
Wigan were missing top scorer Arouna Kone, who has already joined up with Ivory Coast for the African Nations Cup in South Africa, and so the goalscoring responsibility now falls upon lone frontman Di Santo who had not scored in 14 league matches prior to this afternoon.
The Argentine was guilty of missing a glorious chance only four minutes in following an excellent team move which ended with Shaun Maloney picking out the striker at the far post. Utterly alone, he could only roll the ball to Mark Schwarzer, although there was a suspicion of offside.
Karagounis, who scored a sensational late equaliser to keep Fulham in the FA Cup against Blackpool last weekend, made it two brilliant goals in two games in the 22nd minute.
With Wigan compact and space scarce, he ran at the defenders and dropped a shoulder to win space to shoot from 25 yards and the ball flew in off the foot of the upright before nestling just inside the other post.
Towards the end of a half which neither side dominated, Di Santo was presented with another chance. Emmerson Boyce played a give-and-go with James McArthur in the right corner and his cross found Di Santo all alone a few yards out, but again his effort while stretching was weak and Schwarzer saved easily.
Ten minutes into the second half Maloney forced a world-class save out of Schwarzer. Executing a stepover to attack the box, his instinctive strike took a nick off a defender and the Australian did brilliantly to tip on to the bar and over at full-stretch.
Soon after Kieran Richardson put in a crucial tackle to deny Di Santo at the near post then after the corner was cleared Maloney pulled the trigger again, with Schwarzer this time able to hold the ball after saving high up at the near post.
Just after the hour mark Berbatov lost out in a challenge and the ball fell to McArthur, who quickly fed the feet of Di Santo with his back to goal on the edge of the box. His first touch was a flick up, his second a low strike on the turn - and the ball flew just wide.
In the 71st minute Di Santo had his goal - and what a goal it was. He angled in from the left wing past Sascha Riether then into the box through a group of players and thundered a drive into the far top corner.
With five minutes left, weak defending in the tackle by Aaron Hughes allowed Di Santo to bring the ball into the home box with just Hangeland ahead of him. He went down the outside and forced another save out of Schwarzer at the near post.
The end of the match was delayed when Ivan Ramis was stretchered off following an innocuous challenge with Berbatov, replaced by Ronnie Stam. Roberto Martinez said after the game that Wigan believe he has ruptured knee ligaments and will be out "long term".
Fulham sparked into life for the four active minutes of injury time. Stam was easily held off by Ruiz and the Costa Rican smashed past Ali Al Habsi, only for Maynor Figueroa to fly back and head brilliantly off the line.
Home sub Ashkan Dejagah then attacked the right side of the box and crossed for Ruiz on the far side, but Boyce was there to put him off and the ball ran wide.
Wigan - ultimately deserving of three points - jump out of the bottom three after surviving that late flurry. They are above Aston Villa on goal difference after Paul Lambert's side lost at home to Southampton.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) - One brilliant save from Shaun Maloney in particular and a commanding performance from the home keeper.
Fulham: Schwarzer 8, Riether 7, Hangeland 7, Hughes 6, Richardson 7, Duff 5, Ruiz 7, Karagounis 8, Kacaniklic 6, Berbatov 5, Petric 6. Subs: Baird 6, Rodallega 6, Dejagah 6.
Wigan: Al Habsi 6, McCarthy 6, Caldwell 7, Jones 6, Di Santo 7, Maloney 7, McArthur 6, Boyce 7, Ramis 7, Beausejour 7, Figueroa 7. Subs: Stam 5, Gomez 6.