Latics went into the game knowing only a win would do in their battle to stay in the Premiership.
In the opening 30 minutes there was only one team in the game as the Latics played forceful attacking football.
Following a corner in the 7th minute Emile Heskey was clearly hauled to the ground by Kilgallon but referee Mike Dean waived away penalty appeals.
Wigan continued to attack and were rewarded in the 14th minute through Paul Scharner’s left-foot volley following good work from Kevin Kilbane.
The Latics were looking good and continued to press, but the rhythm of their play was disrupted when influential captain Arry DeZeeuw had to leave the pitch and be replaced by Josip Skoko with Scharner going back into defence
Against the run of play Jon Stead equalised for the home side with a brave header 8 minutes before the break.
There was a nasty collision of heads between Stead and Wigan keeper Pollitt which led to a long break in play
Ryan Taylor was also injured in the incident and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher, he was replaced by David Unsworth.
The break in play led to Mike Dean adding 5 minutes stoppage time to the end of the first half, it was right at the end of this that the game was settled.
A corner was swung into the Sheffield United penalty area and Phil Jagielka rose with his arms aloft, the ball struck his hand, Mike Dean pointed to the spot.
Up step sub David Unsworth to bury the spot kick beyond a diving Paddy Kenny and score against the club he only left in January.
The Latics almost scored again shortly after the restart with Emile Heskey`s spectacular effort being superbly saved by the agile Kenny
The rest of the second half was a complete onslaught as the Blades went in search of an equaliser; tackles were flying in as the excitement grew, this resulted in Wigan`s Lee McCulloch receiving two yellow cards and being sent off on 73 minutes.
With 10 men it was backs to the wall stuff for Wigan, who never really threatened after McCulloch`s dismissal.
The referee added on another 5 minutes stoppage time to the end of the game at times it was like the Alamo!
When the final whistle eventually went it was Wigan who celebrated and Sheffield United who suffer relegation to the Championship next season.
What a game!
Kenny, Morgan, Geary, Montgomery, Quinn, Jagielka, Tonge, Gillespie, Stead, Nade
Pollitt, Taylor, Boyce, DeZeeuw, Baines, Valencia, Landzaat, Scharner, Kilbane, Heskey, McCulloch.
Referee Mike Dean
Have your say on the great escape by debating on ‘Latics Speyk` message board
Vital Wigan is back, so why not join up and join in?
Message Board We also need your help in the forum, so join up and kick off the debate, or if you have a forum at the moment, why not enquire about merging with Vital and get free hosting + an income? To visit the message board, click here. Get involved
This website is your website and we are looking for people to help run the site. Do you go to most of the games and have an opinion? Why not write a match report? Perhaps you are a budding journalist or even just someone who is very opinionated? Well why not join our team? If this interests you please contact Vital Wigan.