Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew was left seething with referee Mark Halsey after the official missed Callum McManaman's "awful" knee-high challenge on Massadio Haidara.
Haidara was carried off on a stretcher with suspected ligament damage, but Halsey did not even award Newcastle a free-kick, let alone flourish a red card, as McManaman escaped punishment in the first half of Wigan's vital 2-1 win.
McManaman executes his horror tackle on Haidara
Newcastle's injured full-back Ryan Taylor meanwhile described the 20-year-old's career-threatening challenge as "the definition of a s**thouse tackle".
McManaman's challenge provoked anger from the Newcastle bench at half-time with assistant manager John Carver being sent to the stands - along with Wigan coach Graham Barrow - after twice trying to confront McManaman in an ugly melee.
"It is an awful challenge. The pictures speak for themselves," said Pardew.
"I thought it was a bad challenge and I was 60 yards from the incident.
"The players knew because they were on top of it and there was a lot of bad feeling about that incident when it goes unpunished.
"He (Halsey) said 'If I've missed it I apologise' - that was at half-time.
"If it goes unpunished it doubles the impact on the mentality of the players and the team and it did have an impact on us, you can't get away from that.
"My job was to calm the players at half-time, not go looking for retribution, and try to win the second half - which to all intents and purposes we did.
Haidara was transported back to Newcastle while the second half was under way in order to be examined as soon as possible.
"The doctor assessed him quickly before he was scuttled away to be assessed later," added the Newcastle manager.
"It looks like knee ligaments and bad bruising and that's the best we can hope for."
Taylor, out since August with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, also tweeted he was "baffled" by Halsey's decision.
To add insult to considerable injury, Arouna Kone's 90th-minute winner - after Davide Santon had cancelled out Jean Beausejour's first-half opener for the hosts - appeared to come off Maynor Figueroa's hand in the build-up.