For the fourth successive match, Rafael Benitez's side failed to capitalise on their domination - and had only Yossi Benayoun's 41st-minute effort to show for their efforts.
It proved not to be enough when Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva's senseless, rash challenge on Jason Koumas allowed Mido - signed on loan from Middlesbrough last week - to convert the penalty.
With Chelsea beating Middlesbrough, Liverpool dropped to third in the table - two points behind leaders Manchester United, having played one match more, and only one point ahead of fourth-placed Aston Villa.
The tone was set in the second minute when Steven Gerrard curled in a left-wing free-kick to the near post. But Lucas managed to get in the way of Fernando Torres, and the ball bounced to safety.
The same combination almost brought a goal in the 13th minute, Gerrard crossing from the left with Torres' glancing header beating Pollitt but rebounding back off the far post - across the goal to safety.
As was the case on Sunday, Liverpool were enjoying huge amounts of possession - but it was in areas which were not really threatening to the hosts.
Torres, who had scored once in nine injury-interrupted matches, was looking sharper - and from a Jamie Carragher long ball, he controlled on his chest and unleashed a shot on the turn which was a few feet wide of Pollitt's left-hand post.
When Liverpool did cut open the defence, Benayoun's final pass let him down. The Israel international had dummied to allow Ryan Babel to play the ball in behind - but when he got to the byline he failed to pick out Torres or Gerrard.
Lucas' 22-yard shot was even worse, scuffing wide after Gerrard had teed him up with the defence backing off.
Wigan did not win their first corner until the 34th minute - when the unmarked Emmerson Boyce, clearly offside but with no flag, headed wide.
The home fans were screaming for a penalty when Paul Scharner fell under pressure from Aurelio, but referee Phil Dowd was not interested.
In the 38th minute Babel cut inside and unleashed a shot which Pollitt failed to hold. But fortunately for him, it did not drop to an opponent - and the danger was cleared.
Claims for a Martin Skrtel handball, which looked accidental, a few moments later were waved away by Dowd.
Liverpool promptly went straight down the other end and scored in the 41st minute.
Javier Mascherano's defence-splitting pass looked to be too heavy for Benayoun. But he rounded Pollitt and squeezed in a shot, which clipped the near post from the narrowest of angles.
The first action of the second half saw Maynor Figueroa booked for bringing down Benayoun. Fabio Aurelio curled the 25-yard free-kick straight at Pollitt.
Wigan's goalkeeper had to be alert to tip over Mascherano's right-wing cross under his bar, but Liverpool's short-corner routine broke down.
After a scrappy 15 minutes, Liverpool slipped back into their patient passing game - by which time Wigan manager Steve Bruce had seen enough and sent on Jason Koumas for Daniel de Ridder.
Benayoun should have either made or scored the second in the 65th minute when he turned left-back Figueroa inside out twice but delayed his final pass from inside the six-yard box - and the ball was hacked clear.
With 20 minutes to go, Benitez replaced Torres with Albert Riera - meaning Babel was given the chance to play up front. Yet there was still no sign of Robbie Keane - back in the squad after being dropped for Sunday's FA Cup Merseyside derby - getting a run.
Gerrard had a chance to score the second after bursting into the right side of the area, but his shot across goal was wide of the far post.
Benitez's second substitution was to send on Dirk Kuyt for Benayoun. Bruce responded by giving Colombian striker Huge Rodallega his debut.
But with nine minutes to go, Lucas crazily clipped Koumas in the penalty area - and Mido sent Jose Reina the wrong way from the spot.
Keane was finally given his chance immediately after that when he replaced Gerrard but could not produce a response to his manager's decision to leave him out at the weekend.
It could have been much worse for the visitors as Rodallega, who received international clearance only just over an hour before kick-off, hit the bar with an injury-time free-kick.