Behrami broke the deadlock just before the end of a tense first half
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer, Upton Park
West Ham United eased the pressure on manager Avram Grant with victory over Wigan in what had been labelled the "Save Our Season" game.
Grant came under renewed pressure after a dismal performance in last week's defeat at Liverpool - but there was a mixture of relief and elation around Upton Park as the Hammers secured only their second Premier League win of the season.
West Ham remain rooted to the foot of the table, but Grant and his players can at least take comfort from an improved performance, and more importantly all the three points.
After a nervous opening, Valon Behrami released the growing tension 11 minutes before the interval by bundling home Frederic Piquionne's header inside the area.
Grant always believed in West Ham vision
Victor Obinna's first league goal of the season doubled the lead early in the second half, although they still had to survive a scare before sealing what was ultimately a comfortable win.
Wigan were awarded a penalty after Danny Gabbidon fouled Tom Cleverley, but substitute Mauro Boselli was inexplicably allowed to take responsibility only moments after coming on, with West Ham keeper Robert Green almost inevitably saving.
West Ham grabbed gratefully at the let-off and the outstanding Scott Parker swept home a third from Obinna's cross after 75 minutes.
Wigan's Cleverley, on loan from Manchester United and clearly a top talent for the future, sent a composed finish beyond Green to pull a goal back, but a comeback was never a serious possibility for the visitors.
After attaching such an important tag to this encounter, it appeared pivotal to the future of Grant - who had new right-hand man Wally Downes at his side - that West Ham emerged victorious.
And watched from the stands by Paolo di Canio - a guest in the hospitality lounge named in his honour - they came out on top in a game marked more by endeavour than quality.
One game, especially in November, will not be enough to save the Hammers' season but, if they can actually build on the foundations laid by this win, it may just buy Grant more time.
Carlton Cole's reward for his public complaints about West Ham's current plight was to be demoted to the bench. Junior Stanislas came in, while Parker was also able to return after illness kept him out of the defeat at Liverpool.
And it was Parker who brought Upton Park to life after a subdued opening period with a couple of trademark tackles, setting the tone for the Hammers to go ahead after 34 minutes.
Lars Jacobsen's cross was headed down by Piquionne and Behrami timed his arrival perfectly to score from close-range, to roars of elation and relief from the crowd.
The surge in West Ham's confidence was instant, with Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi saving twice in swift succession from Stanislas' rising effort and Piquionne's header from only six yards out.
Piquionne was guilty of an awful miss as West Ham pressed for that crucial second goal early after the break, putting the ball wide from only eight yards out when unmarked right in front of goal.
It was only a temporary reprieve, though, as Obinna added the second after 56 minutes, receiving Piquionne's pass in the area before firing a thumping left-foot shot across Al-Habsi and into the bottom corner.
West Ham's season starts now - Obinna
The goal prompted a double substitution from Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, sending on Boselli and Victor Moses for Jordi Gomez and Franco di Santo - and it proved to be a dramatic introduction.
Boselli had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes when referee Mark Halsey pointed to the spot after Gabbidon brought down Cleverley.
It was the substitute's first involvement as he stepped up to take the spot-kick, only to see a dismal effort blocked by Green.
West Ham made them pay for the miss with 15 minutes remaining, Parker feeding Obinna before surging into the area to slide in the return pass, a goal his performance richly merited.
Wigan's reply from Cleverley did not even count as consolation - this was all about West Ham getting three points, and Grant showed his relief as he applauded the loyal and vociferous home support at the conclusion.
74:49 GOAL - Scott Parker:West Ham 3 - 0 Wigan Scott Parker gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. West
Ham 3-0 Wigan.
73:45 Pablo Barrera takes a shot. Mohamed Diame gets a block in.
73:20 Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Upson.
70:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Parker on Mohamed Diame. Strike on goal comes in from Charles N'Zogbia from the free
69:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Victor Obinna on Steven Caldwell. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.
68:58 Victor Moses takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
67:30 Substitution Hendry Thomas goes off and Ben Watson comes on.
63:43 Placed penalty taken by Mauro Boselli saved by Robert Green. West Ham 2-0 Wigan.
62:25 Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley by Daniel Gabbidon.
60:50 Substitution Victor Moses comes on in place of Jordi Gomez.
60:50 Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Mauro Boselli coming on for Franco Di Santo.
59:53 A cross is delivered by Charles N'Zogbia.
57:57 Foul by Scott Parker on Hendry Thomas, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Hendry Thomas.
55:32 Frederic Piquionne provided the assist for the goal.
55:32 GOAL - Victor Obinna:West Ham 2 - 0 Wigan Victor Obinna finds the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal.
West Ham 2-0 Wigan.
54:47 Shot from just outside the box by Victor Obinna misses to the right of the target.
54:07 Tom Cleverley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Junior Stanislas. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
51:29 Effort from inside the area by Pablo Barrera misses to the left of the goal.
Correction - 49:52 Substitution Lars Jacobsen leaves the field to be replaced by Winston Reid.
49:52 Substitution Winston Reid on for Lars Jacobsen.
48:48 Effort on goal by Frederic Piquionne from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
47:59 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Pablo Barrera, Franco Di Santo makes a clearance.
46:16 Mohamed Diame takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:03 The half-time whistle blows.
43:26 Pablo Barrera fouled by Hendry Thomas, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Parker takes the direct free kick.
42:46 Frederic Piquionne fouled by Steve Gohouri, the ref awards a free kick. Matthew Upson takes the free kick.
42:07 The ball is sent over by Franco Di Santo, save made by Robert Green.
40:00 Centre by Junior Stanislas, Steve Gohouri makes a clearance.
38:51 Shot by James Tomkins from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
38:23 Foul by Ronnie Stam on Junior Stanislas, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Junior Stanislas, save made by Ali Al Habsi.
37:26 Corner taken right-footed by Junior Stanislas from the left by-line to the near post, Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Save
by Ali Al Habsi. Pablo Barrera takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.
36:59 Junior Stanislas takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.
36:02 Franco Di Santo is caught offside. James Tomkins takes the free kick.
33:37 Frederic Piquionne provided the assist for the goal.
33:37 GOAL - Valon Behrami:West Ham 1 - 0 Wigan Valon Behrami finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Ham 1-0 Wigan.
30:25 Ali Al Habsi fouled by James Tomkins, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
29:59 Inswinging corner taken by Junior Stanislas from the left by-line, save by Ali Al Habsi.
28:07 The official flags Frederic Piquionne offside. Ronnie Stam takes the free kick.
27:10 Outswinging corner taken by Pablo Barrera from the right by-line, Hendry Thomas makes a clearance.
26:26 Centre by Tom Cleverley, Matthew Upson makes a clearance.
25:35 Charles N'Zogbia takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Victor Obinna.
25:22 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Parker.
18:31 A cross is delivered by Victor Obinna, save by Ali Al Habsi.
17:46 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia, save by Robert Green.
16:03 Unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by Steve Gohouri results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
13:50 The ball is crossed by Ronnie Stam, James Tomkins makes a clearance.
13:18 Junior Stanislas takes a shot. Blocked by Jordi Gomez.
12:38 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Junior Stanislas.
11:05 Tom Cleverley takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
9:56 The assistant referee signals for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.
9:38 Mohamed Diame takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
7:44 Unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Valon Behrami results in a free kick. Tom Cleverley takes the free kick.
7:27 The referee blows for offside. Ali Al Habsi takes the free kick.
4:59 Unfair challenge on Victor Obinna by Steven Caldwell results in a free kick. Valon Behrami restarts play with the free kick.
4:31 Scott Parker takes a shot.
2:11 Victor Obinna is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mohamed Diame takes the free kick.
0:33 The offside flag is raised against Frederic Piquionne. Indirect free kick taken by Steven Caldwell.
0:00 The referee gets the game started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.