Callum McManaman's horror tackle overshadowed a 90th-minute Arouna Kone winner as Roberto Martinez's relegation-threatened side picked up what could be a precious 2three points against Newcastle at the DW Stadium.
On his first Premier League start, the 21-year-old caused outrage with a reckless knee-high challenge on substitute Massadio Haidara.
McManaman wasn't booked by referee Mark Halsey, who sent off furious Newcastle assistant manager John Carver - who twice had to be restrained as he tried to confront McManaman at the end of the first half - and Wigan coach Graham Barrow in an unseemly fracas.
Jean Beausejour's first-half goal had been cancelled by Davide Santon with 18 minutes to go only for Kone to snatch a late winner.
At Stamford Bridge, meanwhile, Frank Lampard scored his 200th Chelsea goal as the Blues climbed to third courtesy of a 2-0 win over West Ham.
On his 595th Chelsea appearance, Lampard headed in an Eden Hazard cross after 19 minutes to move within two of Bobby Tambling's club scoring record of 202 goals.
Hazard added a second five minutes into the second half for the home side.
Chelsea moved above Tottenham, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to mid-table Fulham at White Hart Lane.
Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt his former club with a 52nd-minute winner. Arsenal are now just four points behind their north London rivals with a game in hand.
Elsewhere, 10-man Norwich left Sunderland with a 1-1 draw.
Chris Hughton's men were 1-0 ahead at the Stadium of Light through Wes Hoolahan's close-range header when goalkeeper Mark Bunn was dismissed for handling outside his area.
It got worse for the visitors five minutes before the break when defender Sebastien Bassong conceded a penalty.
Craig Gardner levelled from the spot, but Sunderland struggled to create chances and had to settle for a point.