The Irish international showed why Sunderland will be happy to let his injury-prone Scottish counterpart Craig Gordon quit the Stadium of Light with an assured performance, until that costly late misjudgement.
Posted his own candidate for the club's miss of the season when he missed a sitter just before half-time, and the right-footed player generally looked uncomfortable as a makeshift left-back.
The fact that his most noteworthy contribution came when his glancing header was repelled by Al-Habsi said it all as he failed to get to grips with the mercurial Moses.
The former Manchester United defender's lamentable and lackadaisical late lapse may well cost Steve Bruce his job.
With his injury problems now firmly behind him, the centre-half was starting to look like the player who was tipped to join Liverpool during his Hull City days, until he was given the runaround by Sammon and Moses.
Showed glimpses of the form that made him an England international as he repeatedly threatened Wigan in the 'hole' behind Bendtner, with a display full of vibrancy and vigour but lacking a finishing touch.
He was neat and tidy in midfield but the youngster lacked the wit, guile and creativity necessary to worry Wigan's trio of centre-halves.
He can be devastating when he's really at it and there were plenty of nice touches, but this time he flitted in and out of the game too much for the Sunderland faithful as he became increasingly wasteful in possession.
An early blow to the head that required stitches must have knocked a bit of sense into the combative midfielder because he turned in an uncharacteristically disciplined display against his old club but became increasingly erratic as the tension mounted.
The Swede's return from suspension handed a boost to the Black Cats and he had an immediae impact by settling local jitters by putting his team ahead after an Ali Al-Habsi howler, but was lured into giving away a penalty just before the break by Victor Moses.
It was his shot that paved the way for Larsson's opener but this was a lacklustre performance that saw him drop too deeply too often, showing why Arsenal were happy for the Dane to leave the Emirates on loan.
Ali Al Habsi
Went from zero to hero by atoning for an early howler that let in Seb Larsson to pull off a string of cracking saves to keep his team in it.
Made plenty of important clearances and interceptions against a Sunderland side whose penchant for lofting hopeful balls into the box played to his strengths.
After a torrid first-half the former Celtic and Newcastle player finally found his feet when Sunderland ran out of steam, ensuring the Latics' defence stood firm against one-dimensional opponents.
Lucky that appeals for a penalty when he handled were ignored, but otherwise put in a solid shift.
There was nothing flashy about his display but he made the most of Wigan's possession to keep his side ticking over, but fluffed a decent chance.
It is fair to say that the Sunderland defence parted like the Red Sea every time the former Crystal Palace player went on the offensive and he cleverly won the penalty that pulled his side level.
It took him a while to get going but when he did get his act together he dominated the midfield exchanges with a no-nonsense display.
There was nothing fancy about him but he ran his proverbial socks off for the team, with a spirit that bodes well for Wigan's Premier League survival fight.
Kept his head when Sunderland were losing theirs to tuck away his penalty with a calmness that has been a trademark for Roberto Martinez's team
He will need to raise his game if he is to make a more tangible contribution to Wigan's relegation battle, putting in an anonymous performance at the Stadium of Light.
The Scottish striker gave both Sunderland centre-halves plenty of food for thought as he ran himself into the ground and could have grabbed the winner if he had not opted to try to win a penalty when through on goal.
- 24 T. Carson
Failed to give Sunderland the urgency their midfield required when sent on as a substitute as the game drifted.
He scored 10 Premier League goals for Birmingham last season but he is looking a shadow of his former self.
- 18 D. Meyler
- 23 J. McClean
- 27 Ahmed El Mohamady
Hardly got a touch in an ineffecive cameo.