Injury-hit Wigan made it a miserable night for former assistant coach Iestyn Harris with a clinical victory that lifts them to within a point of Super League leaders Leeds.
The Warriors were without nine regulars and lost hooker Michael McIlorum in the first half with a knee injury. But teenage winger Joe Burgess led the way with two tries while former Salford scrum-half Matty Smith kicked four goals and a drop goal.
The game will be best remembered for referee Phil Bentham's inability to make a decision other than to refer the majority of the crucial calls to the fourth official.Video referee Ben Thaler was called on eight times, disallowing three tries to Salford and two to Wigan – largely through sticking to the letter of the law on the obstruction rule – before allowing three Wigan scores.
The only try of the first period came on the stroke of half-time when Smith dribbled to set up second rower John Bateman, who outpaced full-back Greg Eden to get the touchdown.
Five minutes into the second half Sam Powell took Smith's pass to jink over for Wigan's second try, and on 52 minutes Burgess accepting Ryan Hampshire's pass following his weaving run to slide over for his first try.
Wigan extended their lead with a Smith drop goal and a 70-metre try from Burgess, while Francis Meli went over for a consolation try 90 seconds from the end.
Salford Eden, Williams, Gleeson, Sa'u, Meli, Chase, Smith, Puletua, Tomkins, Tasi, Hansen, Hock, Rapira. Replacements Morley, Griffin, Lee, Ashurst.
Wigan Hampshire, Manfredi, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, S. Powell, Smith, Taylor, McIlorum, Dudson, Hughes, Bateman, Sutton. Replacements Goulding, Crosby, Williams, James.
Referee Phil Bentham (RFL).