Morten Gamst-Pedersen (r) is congratulated by team-mate El-Hadji Diouf after putting Blackburn ahead
By Les Roopanarine
Second-half goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Jason Roberts propelled Blackburn clear of the bottom three at the expense of local rivals Wigan.
Pedersen sparked a previously soporific match into life with a swirling free-kick from an improbable position wide on the right touchline.
Substitute Jason Roberts then doubled Rovers' lead with a close-range effort.
Charles N'Zogbia pulled one back with a precise free-kick, but it was a case of too little, too late for Wigan.
After playing well but finishing empty-handed against Chelsea last weekend, and with away fixtures at Newcastle and Tottenham to follow, it was a crucial three points for Rovers boss Sam Allardyce and his team.
Allardyce relieved after 'fantastic' win
Blackburn began the afternoon third from bottom, having previously won only twice in the league all season, but their reward for a performance low on flair but typically high on endeavour was a derby victory which hauled them up to 15th.
Allardyce, who has been frustrated by a perceived disparity between his side's performances and points return in recent weeks, had urged his players to reproduce the same level they showed against Chelsea.
They failed to live up to that rallying cry, but at least succeeded in putting the torpor of a desperately poor opening half behind them.
In a tightly-bunched division, one team's arrested decline is another's descent into crisis, and so it was with Wigan, who dropped to 18th, the same position vacated by their hosts.
The Latics have now won only once in eight games, although they can take at least some consolation from the fact that they likewise improved after the break.
Manager Roberto Martinez described last weekend's dismal defeat at Fulham as Wigan's worst performance of the season, which was saying something given that they started the season by conceding 10 times in two games.
Martinez demanded a response from his players, but for 45 minutes of footballing ennui, neither team was able to impose any authority on the proceedings.
Wigan carried the greater menace in open play, winning a succession of early free-kicks, but their hopes of an opener repeatedly foundered as a result of poor delivery.
Their most promising moment came when Hugo Rodallega tested goalkeeper Paul Robinson from the edge of the area.
Late in the opening half, N'Zogbia combined brilliantly with Rodallega before bundling an effort beyond Robinson, but to his evident displeasure the Frenchman was penalised for a foul on Pedersen in the build-up.
Blackburn, meanwhile, true to a formula that has served their manager well down the years, were chiefly reliant on set-pieces.
Pedersen's delivery was hard to fault, but Rovers' wayward finishing spoke volumes about their previously meagre return of less than a goal a game.
Goal was chalked off wrongly - Martinez
Christopher Samba headed over from one of Pedersen's long throws, Brett Emerton lashed over from the edge of the area, and neither Mame Biram Diouf or Gael Givet were able to connect with a well-flighted free-kick to the far post.
Blackburn were not helped by the first-half withdrawal of Benjani, who scored the opener against Chelsea last week, with a hamstring injury. Yet the generall malaise was such that both teams needed to focus on improving collectively, rather than fretting over absent friends.
Thankfully, the game received a much-needed fillip immediately after the break in the shape of chances at either end.
Pedersen, belatedly taking matters into his own hands, saw a flying header athletically saved by Ali Al Habsi in the Wigan goal, and moments later Robinson, not to be outdone, denied Mohamed Diame with a fine one-handed save.
With the hour mark approaching, Maynor Figueroa fouled Emerton out on the right touchline, in a position parallel with the 18-yard box.
With a serene flash of his right boot, Pedersen sent the resulting free-kick spinning over Al Habsi, whose positioning is likely to come under scrutiny, and into the far corner.
Nine minutes later, Blackburn made it two when Roberts turned home an Emerton centre from just outside the six-yard box.
Perhaps stung by a sense of injustice - there was more than a hint of offside about Roberts' effort - Wigan swiftly struck back. Jordi Gomez won a free-kick just outside the area for a foul by Phil Jones, and N'Zogbia curled in a brilliant effort off the diving Robinson's left-hand post.
It looked as though N'Zogbia had thrown Wigan a lifeline, albeit one aided and abetted by a Rovers wall that obligingly parted to allow the winger's effort through.
But the home side held firm, and should have added to their tally through substitute David Dunn, who - in an unwelcome reminder of both teams' earlier shortcomings - skewed a chance horribly wide with the goal at his mercy.
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:
"The relief is fantastic, certainly from my point of view.
"We saw an edgy performance, due to the position we found ourselves in today.
"We were subdued in possession, edgy, but we were solid defensively and two players delivered outstanding bits of football for the goals."
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez:
"I don't know what was wrong with N'Zogbia's goal.
"Football is a game of contact and certainly when you come to Ewood Park there's a physical side to the game.
"I know the referee has got a very difficult job but that decision really cost us.
"It was a low point for us and it was mentally hard to recover from that.
"In the second half we started well, but two quick goals out of nothing leaves you feeling a little bit hard done by."
90:00+4:13 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+3:00 Hendry Thomas challenges David Dunn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
90:00+1:53 Close range shot by David Dunn goes wide of the right-hand upright.
89:33 A cross is delivered by Charles N'Zogbia, Paul Robinson makes a save.
89:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Dunn on Charles N'Zogbia. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jordi Gomez from right wing,
Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.
88:43 Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
88:01 Effort from the edge of the box by David Dunn goes wide of the left-hand upright.
87:27 Corner taken short by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
86:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Brett Emerton by Maynor Figueroa. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Morten
Gamst Pedersen, Antolin Alcaraz makes a clearance.
85:08 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Pascal Chimbonda coming on for El-Hadji Diouf.
84:54 Gary Caldwell takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.
84:24 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.
81:23 Substitution Mohamed Diame leaves the field to be replaced by Franco Di Santo.
80:12 Steve Gohouri gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the free kick.
The ball is crossed by El-Hadji Diouf, save by Ali Al Habsi.
78:55 Jason Roberts gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Caldwell. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.
77:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hendry Thomas on El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
77:20 Booking Booking for Steve Gohouri for unsporting behaviour.
76:08 Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
75:38 Hugo Rodallega has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.
74:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Phil Jones on Jordi Gomez.
74:00 GOAL - Charles N'Zogbia:Blackburn 2 - 1 Wigan Charles N'Zogbia scores a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 2-1 Wigan.
69:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Morten Gamst Pedersen on Jordi Gomez. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jordi Gomez from right
channel, clearance by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
69:04 Free kick awarded for a foul by Phil Jones on Jordi Gomez. Steve Gohouri takes the direct free kick.
Correction - 67:48 Substitution Mauro Boselli joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ronnie Stam.
67:48 Substitution Ronnie Stam goes off and Ben Watson comes on.
66:51 Assist by Brett Emerton.
66:51 GOAL - Jason Roberts:Blackburn 2 - 0 Wigan Jason Roberts fires in a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 2-0 Wigan.
66:42 Foul by Brett Emerton on Mohamed Diame, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Mohamed Diame.
66:12 Effort on goal by Charles N'Zogbia from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
65:30 Michel Salgado concedes a free kick for a foul on Charles N'Zogbia. Free kick taken by Mohamed Diame.
62:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Hendry Thomas. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
61:54 Morten Gamst Pedersen is adjudged to have handled the ball. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.
58:54 Shot from just outside the area by Hugo Rodallega goes over the bar.
57:49 Unfair challenge on Brett Emerton by Maynor Figueroa results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst
57:49 GOAL - Morten Gamst Pedersen:Blackburn 1 - 0 Wigan Morten Gamst Pedersen finds the back of the net with a fantastic goal from a long way out to the top left corner of the goal.
Blackburn 1-0 Wigan.
55:30 The assistant referee signals for offside against Michel Salgado. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
53:49 Mohamed Diame takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Jordi Gomez decides to take the corner short.
52:53 Gary Caldwell fouled by Jason Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
51:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Gohouri on El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
50:43 Corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia from the right by-line, clearance made by Brett Emerton.
49:20 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi. Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Ali Al Habsi makes a save.
47:55 Centre by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance by Gael Givet.
47:04 Charles N'Zogbia takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Christopher Samba.
45:42 Outswinging corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Steve Gohouri goes harmlessly
over the crossbar.
45:05 Substitution David Dunn is brought on as a substitute for Mame Diouf.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:14 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
43:54 Hugo Rodallega concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Nelsen. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
43:38 Shot by Brett Emerton from 20 yards. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.
Correction - 42:08 Jason Roberts challenges Antolin Alcaraz unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
42:08 Jason Roberts gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Antolin Alcaraz. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free
41:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamed Diame on Phil Jones. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
40:46 Mame Diouf is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
38:02 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen. Charles N'Zogbia gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on
Morten Gamst Pedersen. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
37:17 Phil Jones has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.
36:39 The ball is swung over by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance by Gary Caldwell.
34:50 Jordi Gomez takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
33:43 Unfair challenge on Michel Salgado by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Morten
Gamst Pedersen. Mame Diouf is ruled offside. Ali Al Habsi takes the indirect free kick.
33:43 Booking Mohamed Diame receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
32:57 Charles N'Zogbia sends in a cross.
31:30 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Jason Roberts coming on for Benjani Mwaruwari.
30:56 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
28:46 Steve Gohouri concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
28:12 The referee blows for offside. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
Correction - 27:35 Jordi Gomez has a curled shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Short corner taken by Jordi Gomez from the right by-line, save by Paul
27:35 Ronnie Stam takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson. Short corner worked by Jordi Gomez, save by Paul Robinson.
27:07 Corner taken left-footed by Jordi Gomez from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
26:08 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Maynor Figueroa, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen
from right channel, save made by Ali Al Habsi.
24:17 The offside flag is raised against El-Hadji Diouf. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.
20:53 Header from deep inside the area by Mame Diouf goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
19:59 Ronnie Stam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Givet. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball from the
free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Antolin Alcaraz.
Correction - 17:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Emerton on Mohamed Diame. Direct free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.
17:38 Foul by Brett Emerton on Mohamed Diame, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.
15:35 Brett Emerton concedes a free kick for a foul on Jordi Gomez. Shot comes in from Jordi Gomez from the free kick.
Correction - 12:02 Foul by Michel Salgado on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded. Hugo Rodallega shoots direct from the free kick. Ronnie Stam takes
a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba. Jordi Gomez fouled by Morten Gamst Pedersen, the ref awards a free kick. Ronnie Stam
restarts play with the free kick.
12:02 Unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Michel Salgado results in a free kick. Hugo Rodallega has a direct shot on goal from the
free kick. Mohamed Diame takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in. Morten Gamst Pedersen concedes a free kick for a
foul on Jordi Gomez. Direct free kick taken by Ronnie Stam.
11:17 Shot from just outside the box by Brett Emerton goes over the bar.
10:28 Christopher Samba has a header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
7:33 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line, Mame Diouf has a headed effort at goal
from close in which goes wide left of the target.
5:07 Foul by Michel Salgado on Charles N'Zogbia, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Hugo Rodallega, Morten Gamst Pedersen
makes a clearance.
3:58 Shot from just outside the box by Hendry Thomas goes over the bar.
1:54 Hendry Thomas challenges Phil Jones unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The referee starts the match.
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