Graeme Shinnie slammed home a stoppage-time winner as Derby secured their third successive Sky Bet Championship victory at Pride Park against an unfortunate Wigan side.
Following a dire 3-0 defeat at Charlton on Saturday, Rams manager Phillip Cocu had demanded a reaction from his players but for the majority of the game that failed to materialise as Derby looked a side bereft of ideas and confidence against a team with an abysmal away record.
But in the second minute of time added on, Shinnie popped up to drive home an unstoppable shot from 15 yards, his first goal for eight months.
The crushing result means Wigan’s woeful away run continues with just two league wins from 30 away matches since promotion from League One 17 months ago.
The Rams dominated the opening half-hour in terms of possession but once it became clear they could do little with it, Wigan slowly emerged from their defensive shell.
The best the home side could offer was a low 20-yarder in the seventh minute from Tom Lawrence, who had spotted a gap after cutting in from the left-wing, but David Marshall palmed the ball away.
Six minutes later Graeme Shinnie and Martyn Waghorn combined to tee up Jamie Paterson, only for Antonee Robinson to block the goal-bound shot.
The Latics had to wait until the 27th minute for their first chance as Gavin Massey curled an effort across the face of goal, with the forward missing four minutes later in carbon copy fashion.
There was a scare for Derby eight minutes before the break when skipper Curtis Davies took an accidental boot in the face from Kiefer Moore that required significant medical attention to a bloodied nose before he was eventually given the all-clear to continue.
Buoyed by their resilient first-half display, Wigan created three chances in six minutes soon after the restart, and appeared the side most likely to break the deadlock in the second period.
Shots from Moore and Joe Williams were blocked by Davies and the chest of goalkeeper Kelle Roos respectively, while Jamal Lowe was then sent clear by Massey for a one-on-one chance, only for his effort to be comfortably saved by Roos.
A dour Derby side finally responded in the 66th minute with a powerful run and 25-yard drive from Lawrence that Marshall again beat clear.
Lowe then had another chance to steal the points for Wigan in the 83rd minute, rifling in a powerful angled drive but Roos was again equal to the shot.
Just when it appeared as though the game would peter out to a goalless conclusion, Shinnie had other ideas courtesy of his stunning late strike.