Wigan boss Roberto Martinez accused referee Howard Webb of inconsistency after seeing his 10 men slip to defeat. Midfielder Jordi Gomez was sent off two minutes into the second half at the Stadium of Light for a lunging challenge on Danny Rose.
Webb, who took charge of the 2010 World Cup final, immediately showed him a red card and Sunderland took full advantage within four minutes when Steven Fletcher scored the game's only goal.
Martinez, who is facing an FA charge over comments he made on Michael Oliver's handling of his side's 4-0 defeat by Manchester United earlier this month, felt the dismissal was harsh, and insisted that if Gomez had to go, so too should have Sebastian Larsson for a challenge on Arouna Kone later in the half which went unpunished.
"I think it's harsh. It's harsh because Danny Rose loses the ball slightly. Jordi tackles as a striker tackles, showing the studs, but he never leaves the ground, it's not a two-footed challenge. I can understand why the ref gave it, but I think it's very, very harsh," he said.
Opposite number Martin O'Neill admitted that the sending off had changed the game, but was not convinced Webb had any other option. He said: "My first thought was it looked a bit harsh. Having seen it back, I'm not so sure that the referee had much alternative."
Fletcher cashed in when he turned home James McClean's driven cross to claim his fifth goal in four league games.
Sunday Indo Sport