In a matchup hyped as two men fighting for their jobs, Owen Coyle got it right while Steve Kean fell just short. Bolton Wanderers had a great first half and average second half, but held on to score a massive 2-1 away win at Ewood Park. Blackburn will now be bottom of the table at Christmas, and the 'Kean Out' protests from the fans will only get worse. The booing at the end of the match was deafening.
Mark Davies scored the opener just five minutes in, with Nigel Reo-Coker adding Bolton's second in the 30th minute. The defending on both goals was terrible, with the first coming on a bad clearance by Christopher Samba. David Ngog picked it up and slotted a pass to Davies, who tapped the ball into the back of the net. The second came on a terrible bit of defending by Morten Gamst Pederson, who was somehow turned around by a defensive midfielder who rarely comes within 40 yards of goal.
Marcos Alonso had an excellent first 58 minutes for Bolton before picking up an injury, and he had to be removed for Paul Robinson. The difference from then until the end of the match was incredible. Blackburn instantly became the much better side when Alonso was withdrawn and it took just nine minutes for them to score. Though, it was not Robinson directly at fault, as Gary Cahill was beaten badly on a goal by Yakubu.
Blackburn pressed and pressed for the equalizer, but it never came. Despite some rough moments from Robinson, Bolton held on to avoid being in the bottom place at Christmas. That distinction belongs to Blackburn, and it seems unlikely that Kean will keep his job for long. The protests might have been fickle when they started, but after a home loss to Bolton, Kean's job security should be poor.