Two earlier stunning saves by the visiting goalkeeper, Brian Jensen had proved sufficient to provide Burnley with only their second away point of the season but when substitute Victor Moses delivered accurately from the right Rodallega swooped to set up a feisty derby.
Related ArticlesPremier League tablePremier League actionTelegraph player raterPremier League fixturesBurnley keep the faithSport on televisionChris Kirkland, the Wigan goalkeeper who was struck on the head by an object thrown from the end containing the visiting fans shortly into the second half, was equally spectacular for Wigan in denying David Nugent with the visitors opener for a defeat that sees them anchored in the bottom three.
Burnley attempt to improve their poor away record commenced with a profusion of early efforts, notably from Graham Alexander, Martin Paterson and Wade Elliott. All had the same conclusion: blocked in midflight thanks to resolute Wigan covering.
Indeed the entire opening period was a wretched affair by two struggling teams for whom survival remains far from secure.
But they came closest to breaking a depressing deadlock when, in the 18th minute, a Gary Caldwell, the defender who endured such a torrid time in the 4-0 trouncing at Bolton a week earlier, almost became an instant hero.
He delivered a powerful header that came back off the post although the remainder of the opening of the 45 minutes was forgotten.
There was a more positive response after the break, notably from Wigan who carried the game to their visitors only to be betrayed by weak finishing with Rodallega and Marcello Moreno the chief culprits.
Substitute Jason Scotland gave a bit more worthwhile angled effort that was narrowly wide although James McCarthy shot over from a similar 20-yard distance.
And then Scotland was superbly denied by Jensen who followed up with an even more spectacular save from Mohamed Diame. But Wigan were not to be outdone and Rodallega struck at the death for a deserved home victory.