MANCHESTER, March 30- Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City moved up to fifth in the Premier League table with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wigan at Eastlands on Monday.
The visitors matched City until they had Gary Caldwell sent off 10 minutes after the restart.
And then Tevez rolled in three goals in just under a quarter of an hour to take his tally to 25 for the season and 21 in 19 appearances.
City are now two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who still have to travel to Eastlands but it was not a comfortable evening for Roberto Mancini’s side.
Wigan began strongly and started particularly well defensively, with Titus Bramble pulling off a fine block from Emmanuel Adebayor after Tevez’ cross.
But City carved them open thanks to Maynor Figueroa’s slip, which allowed Shaun Wright-Phillips to break into the box and cross.
Tevez’s volley was blocked at full stretch by Wigan’s goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, filling in for the ill Chris Kirkland.
Wigan were finding it easy to contain the hosts and threatened themselves when Hugo Rodallega broke quickly and pulled back for Paul Scharner, whose shot flew wide from just outside the area.
Rodallega also went close after he was picked out by a cross-field pass from Mario Melchiot.
The Columbian striker cut in from the left and hit a shot that was pushed wide by goalkeeper Shay Given.
Tevez almost broke the deadlock after skipping past a weak challenge from Melchiot and clipping a looping shot that landed just the wrong side of the post.
Scharner was first to react when a free kick from Wigan’s Marcelo Moreno hit the wall but the Austrian’s low drive was tipped wide by Given.
Moreno also scooped a shot over the bar as Wigan broke quickly through Rodallega.
Mohamed Diame set up another counter-attack for the visitors, sending Rodallega into space but Scharner shot well over the bar.
Craig Bellamy replaced Wright-Phillips at the break and immediately made a difference.
And as the hosts played with greater intensity, Adebayor had the ball in the net after Stojkovic could only fumble from Tevez’s powerful shot.
Rodallega should have opened the scoring eight minutes after the restart.
City failed to deal with Caldwell’s long, straight clearance, with the ball hitting the back of Pablo Zabaleta’s head, but Rodallega dragged wide.
Ten minutes into the second period, Wigan saw Caldwell sent off for a challenge on Tevez.
Still though it was Wigan pressing, with Moreno curling a shot narrowly wide and Rodallega just failing to get a touch to Maynor Figueroa’s cross.
Finally City were able to exploit the extra space, with Patrick Vieira hooking over the top for Tevez, whose shot was deflected wide by Bramble.
Vieira himself had a low strike held by Stojkovic as City increased the pressure.
But they finally made the breakthrough thanks to poor goalkeeping from Stojkovic.
Vieira clipped the ball over the top and the Serb rushed out but failed to make any challenge and Tevez rolled the ball into the net.
They doubled the lead soon after when Adam Johnson fired a cross to the far post that was flicked on by Vincent Kompany and Tevez found the corner of the net.
Tevez then completed his hat-trick when he broke clear, beat the challenge of Figueroa and found the corner of the net with a precise shot.