Goals from Kevin Davies and Lee Chung-Yong gave Bolton a narrow Championship victory over their Lancashire rivals.
Davies struck after only two minutes against his old club, lashing home after being played in by Chris Eagles.
The Bolton winger was influential throughout, forcing fine saves from goalkeeper Paul Robinson, as Lee tapped home the second from close in.
Colin Kazim-Richards came on and set up striker Jordan Rhodes to head home a consolation effort in the 82nd minute.
Bolton had drawn their last four games, and would have been delighted to get the win over their bitter enemies.
On the other hand, Blackburn have now lost their last two games and are four points adrift of the play-off spots.
Manager Henning Berg has overseen inconsistent results since taking charge of Rovers but Dougie Freedman's Bolton side were driven forward by an impressive performance from Eagles.
The former Manchester United player's incisive pass enabled 35-year-old Davies to open the scoring early on, and the winger also tested Robinson with a long-range drive and venomous volley.
With the away side on top, Danny Murphy smashed over an effort in Blackburn's only chance of the first half.
Blackburn had Robinson to thank again, as he saved well from Jacob Butterfield, and they were given a lifeline when Scottish international Rhodes bagged his 15th of the season for club and country.
The 22-year-old could have been the hero by rescuing a point late on, but could not scramble home the equaliser.
Blackburn manager Henning Berg:
"To start the game like we did was very, very surprising, I must admit. We're playing a local derby, we're playing against a team we played in the Premier League last season and we give them that much space.
"We have enough experience to know that when we start the way we do we give ourselves a mountain to climb and at the moment we're not good enough to get back into it.
"It can't be too difficult [to pick the players up], we're playing Burnley [in a derby on Sunday]. Everybody knows what that means for everybody - the fans, players, staff - and if you can't pick yourself up for a game like that you shouldn't be in football."
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman:
"That's been the best performance [of the season] in terms of all-round performance. I think we've actually played decent at Blackpool but I think as an all-round performance - defending very well at the end and our passing and moving - we played quite expansively with two wingers and I felt that we created opportunities.
"But I've been seeing it at the training ground. The lads have been working terrifically well, they've really responded to the methods.
"He [Chris Eagles] has been performing very well - let's not tell him that, knowing Chris. He's a good guy, he's a fine football player who's still getting better."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +4:36
Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Dann on Samuel Ricketts. Direct free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.90:00 +4:01
The ball is crossed by Colin Kazim-Richards, Keith Andrews manages to make a clearance.90:00 +3:11
The assistant referee flags for offside against Grant Hanley. Adam Bogdan takes the free kick.90:00 +2:42
Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a outswinging corner to the near post, save by Adam Bogdan.90:00 +1:56
Effort on goal by Danny Murphy from inside the box misses to the right of the target. Jordan Rhodes produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the right-hand upright.90:00 +1:33
Mauro Formica crosses the ball.90:00 +0:43
The ball is sent over by Adam Henley, Tyrone Mears makes a clearance. The assistant referee flags for offside against Jordan Rhodes. Free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.89:02
A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson, Stephen Warnock manages to make a clearance.88:03 Substitution
Substitution Matt Mills replaces Chung-Yong Lee.84:46
Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball, volleyed right-footed shot by Colin Kazim-Richards. Save made by Adam Bogdan.83:58
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tyrone Mears by Morten Gamst Pedersen. Free kick taken by Keith Andrews.82:08
Kevin Davies fouled by Grant Hanley, the ref awards a free kick. Keith Andrews takes the free kick.81:23
Colin Kazim-Richards provided the assist for the goal.81:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Blackburn 1 - 2 Bolton Jordan Rhodes finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Blackburn 1-2 Bolton.81:20
A cross is delivered by Colin Kazim-Richards,80:01 Substitution
Substitution Darren Pratley comes on in place of Chris Eagles.79:48
Long range shot by Scott Dann goes wide right of the target.78:00
Martin Olsson crosses the ball, Mauro Formica takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Warnock.76:55
Centre by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Jordan Rhodes takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.
The ball is swung over by Jay Spearing, Scott Dann gets a block in. Corner taken by Jay Spearing from the left by-line, Zat Knight takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.74:25
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Zat Knight makes a clearance.74:10
Colin Kazim-Richards takes a shot. Blocked by Samuel Ricketts.73:30
Keith Andrews takes a shot. Adam Henley gets a block in.72:29 Substitution
Substitution Martin Petrov joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jacob Butterfield.71:33
Mauro Formica takes a shot. Blocked by Jay Spearing.70:46 Substitution
Substitution Joshua King goes off and Colin Kazim-Richards comes on.69:53
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Eagles by Jason Lowe. Free kick taken by Stephen Warnock.68:54 Substitution
Substitution Ruben Rochina leaves the field to be replaced by Morten Gamst Pedersen.67:48
Danny Murphy has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.67:19
Chris Eagles takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.66:47
The ball is delivered by Mauro Formica, clearance made by Zat Knight.66:18
Foul by Keith Andrews on Ruben Rochina, free kick awarded. Martin Olsson takes the free kick.64:57
The ball is delivered by Ruben Rochina, Mauro Formica takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.63:13
Joshua King challenges Keith Andrews unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Bogdan restarts play with the free kick.62:43
The ball is swung over by Ruben Rochina, clearance by Zat Knight.62:06
Mauro Formica crosses the ball, Tyrone Mears manages to make a clearance.61:39 Substitution
Substitution Jason Lowe joins the action as a substitute, replacing Dickson Etuhu.61:07
Outswinging corner taken by Ruben Rochina from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Jay Spearing.60:45
Mauro Formica takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Warnock.60:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Chung-Yong Lee - Blackburn 0 - 2 Bolton Chung-Yong Lee scores a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Blackburn 0-2 Bolton.58:57
Chris Eagles fouled by Dickson Etuhu, the ref awards a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Chris Eagles, save by Paul Robinson.57:58
Corner taken by Chris Eagles from the right by-line.57:29
Jacob Butterfield takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.56:58
Samuel Ricketts restarts play with the free kick.56:58 Booking
Booking Ruben Rochina is shown a yellow card.56:43
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ruben Rochina on Jay Spearing.56:18
Mauro Formica crosses the ball, clearance by Keith Andrews.55:13
Corner taken left-footed by Martin Olsson, clearance made by Zat Knight. Corner taken right-footed by Danny Murphy to the near post, clearance made by Jay Spearing.55:00
The ball is crossed by Adam Henley, Zat Knight manages to make a clearance.53:31
A cross is delivered by Ruben Rochina, Samuel Ricketts makes a clearance. The ball is delivered by Martin Olsson, Adam Bogdan makes a save.53:15
Unfair challenge on Danny Murphy by Kevin Davies results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Dann.52:51
Effort from long distance by Chris Eagles goes wide right of the target.52:22
Adam Henley concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Eagles. Free kick taken by Jay Spearing.50:59
The offside flag is raised against Kevin Davies. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.50:29
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mauro Formica on Chris Eagles. Free kick taken by Stephen Warnock.46:08
Free kick crossed left-footed by Martin Olsson, save made by Adam Bogdan.46:08 Booking
Booking Stephen Warnock booked for unsporting behaviour.45:34
Adam Henley crosses the ball, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Henley by Stephen Warnock.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +2:20 Half time
Half Time The half-time whistle blows.45:00 +1:17
Stephen Warnock concedes a free kick for a foul on Mauro Formica. Ruben Rochina delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel.45:00 +0:25
Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Olsson on Chung-Yong Lee. Adam Bogdan restarts play with the free kick.44:42
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Chris Eagles from the left by-line to the near post, Adam Henley manages to make a clearance.43:39
The referee gives a free kick against Martin Olsson for handball. Free kick crossed by Jay Spearing, clearance by Grant Hanley. Zat Knight has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Save by Paul Robinson.42:54
Martin Olsson crosses the ball, Shot from close range by Danny Murphy clears the bar.41:37
The ball is crossed by Stephen Warnock, save by Paul Robinson.40:32
Ruben Rochina sends in a cross, Adam Bogdan makes a save.39:46
Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.39:46 Booking
Booking Booking for Jay Spearing for unsporting behaviour.39:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joshua King by Jay Spearing.39:24
Chris Eagles sends in a cross, Grant Hanley makes a clearance.39:07
Chris Eagles takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.38:26
The ball is delivered by Mauro Formica, Joshua King takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.36:48
Unfair challenge on Ruben Rochina by Keith Andrews results in a free kick. Strike comes in from Ruben Rochina from the free kick.35:45
Joshua King produces a cross.34:58
Chris Eagles takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.30:06
The ball is swung over by Stephen Warnock, Effort from the edge of the area by Keith Andrews goes wide of the right-hand upright. The ball is delivered by Mauro Formica, Samuel Ricketts makes a clearance. The ball is crossed by Chris Eagles.28:53
Shot by Chris Eagles from 18 yards. Paul Robinson makes a save.27:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mauro Formica on Stephen Warnock. Samuel Ricketts takes the direct free kick.25:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Eagles by Dickson Etuhu. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Chris Eagles, Paul Robinson makes a save.25:11
Chris Eagles takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.24:17
The ball is swung over by Martin Olsson, Mauro Formica takes a shot. Save made by Adam Bogdan.22:08
Ruben Rochina fouled by Keith Andrews, the ref awards a free kick. Ruben Rochina delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance made by Tyrone Mears. Martin Olsson has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.21:40
Martin Olsson crosses the ball, Keith Andrews makes a clearance.18:16
Joshua King fouled by Tyrone Mears, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.17:50
Jacob Butterfield has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.16:42
Tyrone Mears gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joshua King. Free kick taken by Martin Olsson.16:15
Effort from outside the box by Jay Spearing goes wide right of the target.15:45
The ball is swung over by Chris Eagles, Scott Dann makes a clearance.12:58
Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Samuel Ricketts gets a block in.11:42
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Samuel Ricketts by Jordan Rhodes. Samuel Ricketts takes the direct free kick.11:13
Mauro Formica fouled by Chris Eagles, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.10:43
Foul by Jay Spearing on Ruben Rochina, free kick awarded. Scott Dann restarts play with the free kick.7:14
Keith Andrews challenges Danny Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.6:00
Joshua King takes a shot. Zat Knight gets a block in.5:01
Foul by Keith Andrews on Ruben Rochina, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.3:42
Mauro Formica takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.1:33
Assist on the goal came from Chris Eagles.1:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Kevin Davies - Blackburn 0 - 1 Bolton Kevin Davies finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the top right corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-1 Bolton.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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