One of the most turbulent weeks in Wigan Athletic's history ended in a comprehensive defeat as Said Benrahma's hat-trick saw high-flying Brentford beat the Latics at Griffin Park.
Wigan, who were unbeaten in nine games, went into administration on Wednesday and face a points deduction that could see them relegated despite currently being 16th in the table.
Manager Paul Cook did not talk to the media after the defeat, which saw them concede a goal for the first time in eight matches and have Joe Garner sent off, while Brentford set a club record after a fifth successive win without letting in a goal.
"I can guarantee the supporters we will not be lying down and just fading away," Cook said in a club-issued statement after the match.
"We've got a massive game with QPR on Wednesday at the DW and I guarantee the supporters, I give them my word, we will lift these players the best way we can and we will fight until someone tells us it's mathematically impossible that we can't stay in the league.
"At the minute there's a realistic chance that we can.
" Opposite number Thomas Frank offered words of support, saying: "My biggest respect to Wigan's staff and players.
We hope that they get through this and they succeed and don't get relegated.
"I can't imagine the thoughts and feelings that are going through their minds in general, so I really wish the best for them.
" Both sides desperate for points Two of the form sides in the division both needed the points for very different reasons going into the game.
Life at the Latics has been turned upside down since their 3-0 win over Stoke City on Tuesday after the club went into administration.
The club faces a 12-point deduction at the end of the season, so Paul Cook's players knew they had to keep pushing to increase the seven-point gap they had between themselves and the relegation zone at the start of the day.
Local politicians Andy Burnham and Lisa Nandy had written to English Football League chairman Rick Parry calling for an investigation into the circumstances of the administration before the game.
Meanwhile Brentford still harboured hopes of overhauling the gap to West Brom and taking the second automatic promotion place.
Bees dominate as Latics fail to threaten On the pitch it was Benrahma who stole the headlines as the Algeria forward took his tally to 14 goals for the season.
Going into the game, Wigan had not lost in nine and had won six of their past seven, but the hosts - who have not dropped points since the end of February - dominated from the start.
The Bees should have been ahead in the third minute when they had three efforts on target in quick succession - Bryan Mbeumo's volley was deflected over after Ollie Watkins' shot had been well blocked by Antonee Robinson following a Henrik Dalsgaard strike that was palmed away.
Wigan were rocked two minutes later when centre-back Leon Balogun was forced off with an injury and Kal Naismith was moved to centre-back.
Naismith's clearing header from Watkins' cross led to the opening goal as Emiliano Marcondes headed the ball back into the path of Benrahma, who calmly volleyed into the bottom corner.
Brentford's passing game started to come to the fore and Naismith was again on hand to clear off the line after Dalsgaard's cross was deflected goalwards shortly before Benrahma's speculative ball early in the second period floated over goalkeeper David Marshall and into the net.
Watkins then had two more close-range efforts cleared off the line, but the Bees only had to wait five more minutes for Benrahma to add the third as he shot low into the bottom corner after good work down the right flank from Josh Dasilva and Christian Norgaard.
Wigan failed to have an effort on target in the entire match and their day went from bad to worse when Garner was dismissed with nine minutes to go after his raised foot hit the torso of Jan Zamburek.
The win - Brentford's fifth in succession - sees Thomas Frank's side stay third, but they closed the gap to second-placed West Bromwich Albion to two points ahead of the Baggies' match with Hull City on Sunday.
Asked about Benrahma's form, he said: "He's absolutely hit the ground running after this coronavirus break, but also added extra aspects to his game in terms of arriving into the box - that's an area we've been working a lot on.
"I also need to praise him for his work ethic, I thought he worked extremely hard and that's always a demand I have for all my players in general and also the front three and they're doing a top job there.
"He's been good and he now needs to keep it up - I would prefer three goals per match, that would make it a little bit easier.