Burnley's survival hopes suffered a major blow after a David Dunn penalty handed local rivals Blackburn victory.
Dunn gave Rovers the lead from the spot in the first half after Martin Olsson was judged to have been brought down by goalkeeper Brian Jensen.
Olsson also rattled the bar with a fierce drive while Jason Roberts headed wide from inside the six-yard area.
Burnley's Leon Cort volleyed a yard wide, while Wade Elliott failed to get a crucial touch on Danny Fox's cross.
With West Ham having lost again on Saturday to leave them in joint 17th with Hull, Burnley knew a win would have lifted them level on points with the Hammers and the Tigers, albeit with an inferior goal difference.
Victory in this Lancashire derby would also given Brian Laws' side is a psychological advantage in the fight to avoid the drop.
But like their fellow clarets, the Lancashire side have been in freefall for some time now - with only one win in 20 Premier League games.
Another telling statistic is that they had yet to win a league game this season after conceding the opening goal.
With 16 minutes gone, the omens did not look good.
Olsson, possibly Blackburn's best player, ran on to a ball in the area before he was ruled to have been taken down by Jensen.
Screams of protests followed from Burnley's players, but referee Mike Dean stood by his decision following a further consultation with his assistant, and Dunn sent Jensen the wrong way from the spot.
Laws sets Burnley survival target
It was what Blackburn deserved having been on top during much of the first half.
Olsson, who was keen to support lone-man Jason Roberts in attack, had the ball in the net a shortly before the break but the effort was harshly ruled out for offside.
Spanish full-back Michel Salgado screwed his eight-yard effort wide and Roberts headed over from four yards when Christopher Samba was better placed behind him.
Burnley's problems in defence are known - 22 games without a clean sheet - but they have often relied on their attack to bail them out.
However, here their most potent players, David Nugent and Steven Fletcher, regularly drifted deep in order to act as catalysts for any attacks which explained why it was a defender, Cort, who had the best opportunity in the first half - a controlled volley that flew wide of the far post.
We deserve more credit - Allardyce
Laws' men began well after the interval without giving Blackburn shotstopper Jason Brown any palpitations. It was endeavour that lacked threat.
But it was at the other end that a second goal looked most likely to come - through the lively Olsson.
The 21-year-old Swede smashed a 20-yard shot off the underside of the bar before he stung the palms of Jensen with another cracking drive.
Burnley pressed again in the final 10 minutes and went agonisingly close to equalising when Danny Fox's fired in a low ball into the six-yard area that eluded the arriving Elliott and Fletcher.
63:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Wade Elliott on Gael Givet. Direct free kick taken by Jason Brown.
61:15 Shot from long range by Graham Alexander misses to the right of the target.
60:13 The official flags Martin Olsson offside. Brian Jensen takes the indirect free kick.
58:53 The referee blows for offside against Martin Olsson. Brian Jensen takes the free kick.
58:09 Substitution Martin Paterson goes off and Robbie Blake comes on.
58:03 Steven Fletcher produces a cross.
55:34 Unfair challenge on Jason Roberts by Tyrone Mears results in a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the
free kick, save made by Brian Jensen.
54:06 Foul by Graham Alexander on El-Hadji Diouf, free kick awarded. Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball from the free kick
left-footed from right channel, clearance made by Leon Cort.
53:29 A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance made by Michael Duff.
53:05 Martin Paterson takes a shot. Save made by Jason Brown.
51:45 El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball, Brian Jensen makes a save.
50:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Steven Fletcher. Daniel Fox delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left channel, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
49:10 Corner taken by Daniel Fox from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by El-Hadji Diouf.
48:52 David Dunn concedes a free kick for a foul on Wade Elliott. Direct free kick taken by Graham Alexander.
45:35 Martin Olsson handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Michael Duff restarts play with the free kick.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+2:36 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+2:09 Corner taken by Daniel Fox played to the near post, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
45:00+0:24 Corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf, Close range headed effort by Jason Roberts clears the crossbar.
44:41 The referee blows for offside against Steven Fletcher. Free kick taken by Jason Brown.
44:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Morten Gamst Pedersen on Tyrone Mears. Graham Alexander takes the direct free kick.
42:36 Substitution Daniel Fox on for Stephen Jordan.
41:50 Unfair challenge on Steven Fletcher by Phil Jones results in a free kick. The ball is delivered by Graham Alexander, Shot
by Michael Duff from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
41:19 Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a cross, Effort on goal by Michel Salgado from inside the penalty box misses to the right of
40:03 Unfair challenge on Christopher Samba by David Nugent results in a free kick. Jason Brown takes the direct free kick.
38:23 Free kick crossed right-footed by Graham Alexander, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.
38:23 Booking Booking for Christopher Samba.
38:15 Christopher Samba challenges Wade Elliott unfairly and gives away a free kick.
36:35 Martin Olsson has a volleyed shot. Save made by Brian Jensen.
Correction - 33:01 Corner taken right-footed by Graham Alexander to the near post, David Dunn manages to make a clearance.
33:01 Outswinging corner taken by Graham Alexander from the right by-line played to the near post, Phil Jones makes a clearance.
30:26 The offside flag is raised against Jason Roberts. Graham Alexander restarts play with the free kick.
27:56 Inswinging corner taken by Graham Alexander from the left by-line played to the near post, Martin Olsson makes a clearance.
27:52 The ball is delivered by Wade Elliott, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
26:50 The assistant referee flags for offside against Jason Roberts. Michael Duff takes the free kick.
25:52 Stephen Jordan concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. Michel Salgado takes the direct free kick.
21:43 Inswinging corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf, Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and
misses to the right of the target.
19:19 Assist by Martin Olsson.
19:19 GOAL - David Dunn:Burnley 0 - 1 Blackburn David Dunn scores a placed penalty. Burnley 0-1 Blackburn.
18:40 Penalty awarded for a foul by Brian Jensen on Martin Olsson.
17:11 Michael Duff challenges Jason Roberts unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from
the free kick, save by Brian Jensen.
15:01 Martin Olsson is caught offside. Brian Jensen takes the free kick.
13:09 Michel Salgado challenges David Nugent unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Graham
Alexander from left wing, clearance by El-Hadji Diouf.
12:49 Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
11:36 Martin Paterson concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Olsson. Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball from the free kick
left-footed from left wing.
7:59 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Graham Alexander, clearance by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
7:32 Martin Olsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Wade Elliott. Graham Alexander crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed
from right wing, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.
6:42 Michael Duff fouled by Martin Olsson, the ref awards a free kick. Brian Jensen restarts play with the free kick.
5:34 Leon Cort concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Olsson. Shot on goal comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free
kick, Wade Elliott gets a block in.
4:10 Morten Gamst Pedersen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Paterson. Brian Jensen restarts play with the
Correction - 2:13 Wade Elliott challenges David Dunn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen has an effort direct from the
2:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Dunn by Wade Elliott. Morten Gamst Pedersen fires a strike on goal direct
from the free kick.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
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