(CNN) -- Carlos Tevez hit a hat-trick as Manchester City climbed into fifth in the English Premier League with a 3-0 win over Wigan.
The Argentina striker netted his three goals in just 12 second half minutes as City pressed home their advantage once Wigan's Gary Caldwell was sent off.
Caldwell's tackle on Tevez was adjudged to be a straight red card by referee Stuart Atwell, though Wigan's players argued the City striker deserved a similar punishment.
City pressed hard after the visitors were reduced to ten men but were thankful to a mistake by stand-in goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic for their opening goal on 72 minutes.
Patrick Vieira lofted a ball into the penalty area and as Tevez went in to challenge Stojkovic froze, allowing the ball to squirm past him, handing the forward a tap in.
Tevez got his second just two minutes later when Adam Johnson's cross was flicked on by Vincent Kompany and he finished at the back post.
The 26-year-old rounded off his hat-trick with a fine solo effort, rounding Paul Scharner before planting a shot past Stojkovic and into the far corner.
City manager Roberto Mancini told ESPN television: "It was an important win, it wasn't easy and it was difficult in the first half because Wigan played very well and there was no tempo from us.
"We played better in the second half and after the sending off it was too easy. The sending off probably changed the game. Carlos is a fantastic striker and I hope he continues (scoring) in the last seven games."
City's win lifted them into fifth place, two points behind Tottenham, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.
Wigan remain in trouble at the foot of the table, just two places above the relegation zone.