LONDON — The plight of Blackburn and manager Steve Kean became even more desperate Tuesday as Bolton scored twice in the first half hour for a 2-1 win that lifted it off the bottom of the Premier League standings and left its opponent there in its place.
Already disappointed with Kean's yearlong tenure in charge of the club, Blackburn fans jeered their manager for almost the entire game against their northwest England rivals.
Blackburn was left bottom of the standings with 10 points from 17 games, two fewer than Bolton.
Wigan, the other team in the bottom three, hosts Liverpool in one of seven matches Wednesday. Wolverhampton Wanderers moved two points above the relegation zone after equalizing twice to draw 2-2 with Norwich in Tuesday's other match.
Any hope that Kean, who was surprisingly promoted from assistant manager when Blackburn fired Sam Allardyce, may have had of winning over the fans in a match that offered the chance of a rare three points disappeared after only five minutes.
Defender Christopher Samba failed to clear the ball and allowed it to fall to Bolton's David Ngog, who got back to his feet and passed to Mark Davies for a shot into the bottom corner and his first goal in more than a year.
The home fans immediately began jeering and things got worse for Rovers when Ivan Klasnic found Nigel Reo-Coker charging forward. The midfielder exchanged passes with Martin Petrov, meeting his teammate's cross with another shot to the bottom corner past goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Yakubu got a goal back midway through the second half as Rovers improved upon a listless first-half showing but Samba missed a chance to equalize.
With trips to Liverpool and Manchester United ahead, Blackburn's predicament looks bleak.
Blackburn will spend Christmas at the foot of the table, a position from which only one side has avoided being relegated. That was West Bromwich Albion in 2005.
But Bolton manager Owen Coyle at least has something to smile about after only a fourth win from 17 matches.
"That's a big result for us," Reo-Coker said. "We knew it would be a difficult game — a six-pointer — we gave it our all and we got the result we deserved.
"You've got to stay calm and collected. You're not always going to dominate a game away from home. We showed a resilient performance today. We had to come here and perform as a team and that was a team performance."
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy can also breathe a little easier after his side's battling performance against newly-promoted Norwich.
Former Wolves midfielder Andrew Surman put Norwich ahead in the 12th minute only for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who replaced the axed Kevin Doyle, to level before halftime. Substitute Simon Jackson restored Norwich's lead with his first touch before Ronald Zubar's first goal of the campaign with eight minutes left rescued Wolves.
Wolves moved ahead of Sunderland, which gets its chance to improve its survival hopes when it plays at Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, leader Manchester City hosts Stoke and defending champion Manchester United goes to Fulham.
Third-place Tottenham hosts fourth-place Chelsea in Thursday's only match, the final Premier League fixture before Christmas.