Jose Mourinho's Robben-inspired Chelsea are now exhibiting the kind of championship-winning form that current leaders Manchester United showed in their nineties pomp, winning consecutive away matches 3-2 through late goals.
The outspoken Portuguese boss will also feel that the winning goal was justice in itself, as Heskey's 75th minute equaliser was clearly scored from an offside position.
Ivorian forward Kalou was preferred to misfiring Andriy Shevchenko as an all-African strike-force tormented the hosts from the start.
Premier League to resume on Boxing Day in 2022 after six-week World Cup break
The former Feyenoord man went close in the sixth minute when he flicked a long ball into Kirkland's arms, and his strike partner Didier Drogba used his power and guile to almost create an 11th minute opener, knocking the ball wide to Robben who slid the ball to Kalou, the finish striking the underside of Kirkland, the foot of the post and trickling back into the former Coventry, Liverpool and West Brom keeper's arms.
Wigan went close themselves when Heskey headed over after a disinterested challenge from the again-poor Khalid Boulahrouz soon afterwards but Chelsea took the lead on 13 minutes when Robben - on the edge of the area but lacking options - waited and waited with his back to goal before sending a delicious reverse-pass to the onside Lampard who slid the ball through Kirkland's legs for 1-0.
Robben got his second assist when his corner to the near post found Kalou's head and the top right-hand corner of Kirkland's goal, Arjan de Zeeuw neglecting his duties as marker and clearly angry with himself.
FOOTBALL 2006-2007 Premiership Chelsea Wigan-Chelsea Kalou Makelele
Image credit: Reuters
Despite the match seemingly over, Wigan actually improved after going two down and Fitz Hall and Kevin Kilbane both went close with long range efforts before the break.
The renewed spirit paid off when the bustling Heskey - later booked for almost maiming Ricardo Carvalho with a sturdly shoulder challenge - pulled one back for Paul Jewell's men with a deft flick from Leighton Baines' left-wing free kick in first half stoppage-time.
Lampard should have made it three for the Blues immediately after the second half started, somehow dragging a low shot well-wide after cleverly creating a clear shooting opportunity on the edge of the box, while Kilbane opted to shoot from the left wing after Heskey's excellent flick saw him in acres of space when a cut-back to one of three Wigan shirts would have done the trick.
Kalou though he had got his second on 52 minutes when he had the ball in the back of the net from Robben's cross but he was adjudged to have been offside, while Andreas Johansson went close twice for the hosts a minute and then ten later with a long-range left-footed strike and skewed volley respectively.
Wigan's persistence paid off when young sub David Cotterill delivered a cracking ball across the box which Hilario could not hold onto, Denny Landzaat's subsequent low drive from the left finding Heskey at close range to knock the equaliser in.
Heskey, however, was offside as last-man Boulahrouz was actually off the pitch when Landzaat's shot left his boot, his momentum having taken him past the touchline after challenging with Heskey for the original cross.
But the goal stood and Wigan celebrated, thinking they had claimed an unlikely point and given Manchester United some breathing space at the top of the Premiership until - after Kirkland acrobatically tipped over a Carvalho header on 86 minutes - Robben pounced deep into injury-time.
The Dutch international picked up the ball on the right, cut inside to send an over-committed Baines sprawling on the turf and sent a low drive just inside Kirkland's near post, the England reserve keeper static and possibly unsighted by a crowd of players six yards in front of him.
It was a soft goal to concede, but Chelsea and a delighted Robben did not mind, Mourinho relieved and the Blues two points off United going into what could be a crucial Christmas period in the title shake-up.
Chelsea host Reading on Boxing Day while Wigan face Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Exclusive: Barcelona talk just 'rumours', says tight-lipped Martinez
Nuno: Kane and Spurs must move on from the summer