Lukas Jutkiewicz scored for the second successive game as Middlesbrough defeated an out-of-form Blackburn to move up to third in the Championship.
Former Everton striker Jutkiewicz, 23, scored the game's only goal in the second half with a clinical low finish.
Blackburn missed numerous chances, substitute Ruben Rochina coming closest to scoring a late equaliser with a free-kick.
Henning Berg's side have now won just once in 10 matches.
Both sides failed to make the most of their chances in the first half. Jutkiewicz shot over the bar from inside the area while striker Jordan Rhodes should have done better from close range for Blackburn in the 24th minute.
Middlesbrough had substitute Andre Bikey to thank for denying Josh King's goalbound shot, before Danny Murphy's 20-yard effort was held by Jason Steele.
Jutkiewicz headed wide from close range, but he made up for that miss in the 67th minute. Scott McDonald pulled the ball back for Jutkiewicz on the edge of the area and he swept the ball into the net for his seventh of the season.
Rovers's winless run
Blackburn have gained just one point from their last six games.
Blackburn keeper Jake Kean tipped McDonald's effort over the bar to deny Middlesbrough a second.
The visitors almost snatched a point in the final minute, but Rochina's free-kick was superbly kept out by Steele.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray:
"We were in this position last year but we drew too many games that cost us, but we have learned from that.
"Today was tough for us. Blackburn may have only won one game in 10 but they have a lot of quality players and they play good football. They made it difficult for us and created some good chances.
"So it may have been a close run thing but we deserved it. It was a fantastic effort by the team, they dug deep and got a very good goal then worked hard to hold on to it."
Blackburn manager Henning Berg:
"We played well - maybe for spells we played better than Middlesbrough - and we created chances but we lost 1-0.
"It is very frustrating but it has been like that for eight weeks now. We are playing well but not winning games.
"In football you have to take your chances. Middlesbrough created maybe two or three and scored. We created three or four or five but we are going away with nothing.
"People talk about luck and say that we hit the post but it is time for us to create our own luck, start taking chances and start winning games."
Live text and stats
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
03 Bikey (Williams 46)
16 McEachran (Smallwood 56)
09 Emnes (Bailey 72)
11 Ledesma yellow card
03 Mn Olsson
27 Henley yellow card
31 G Hanley
38 Rosado (Dunn 79)
39 Kazim-Richards (Rochina 83)
Ref: AtkinsonAtt: 22,882
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:41 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+2:42 Scott McDonald takes the free kick.
90:00+2:42 Booking Adam Henley booked.
90:00+2:35 Emmanuel Ledesma fouled by Adam Henley, the ref awards a free kick.
90:00+2:03 Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.
89:42 Rhys Williams concedes a free kick for a foul on Ruben Rochina. Cross/shot by Ruben Rochina, save made by Jason Steele. Corner
from right by-line taken by Ruben Rochina.
85:47 Scott McDonald takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
84:38 Justin Hoyte crosses the ball, Scott McDonald has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the
81:20 Substitution Ruben Rochina replaces Colin Kazim-Richards.
81:20 Lukas Jutkiewicz challenges Adam Henley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Martin Olsson.
80:01 Scott McDonald takes a shot. Save by Jake Kean. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Grant Leadbitter, clearance by Scott
79:36 Centre by Justin Hoyte, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
78:48 Grant Hanley challenges Lukas Jutkiewicz unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Grant Leadbitter.
77:45 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with David Dunn coming on for Diogo Rosado.
77:45 Jason Lowe has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
74:20 Unfair challenge on Grant Leadbitter by Joshua King results in a free kick. Jonathan Woodgate restarts play with the free
69:19 Jason Lowe produces a cross, Justin Hoyte manages to make a clearance. Outswinging corner taken by Martin Olsson, Rhys Williams
manages to make a clearance.
66:08 Scott McDonald provided the assist for the goal.
66:08 GOAL - Lukas Jutkiewicz:Middlesbrough 1 - 0 Blackburn Lukas Jutkiewicz fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Middlesbrough 1-0 Blackburn.
64:41 A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson.
62:01 Scott Dann challenges Marvin Emnes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Grant Leadbitter.
61:17 Effort from outside the penalty area by Marvin Emnes goes wide left of the target.
60:53 George Friend produces a cross, clearance by Scott Dann.
60:09 The ball is sent over by Colin Kazim-Richards.
59:25 Effort from the edge of the box by Lukas Jutkiewicz goes wide of the left-hand upright.
58:21 George Friend challenges Colin Kazim-Richards unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Henley takes the indirect free kick.
55:21 Jason Steele restarts play with the free kick.
55:21 Substitution Richard Smallwood is brought on as a substitute for Josh McEachran.
55:21 Joshua King concedes a free kick for a foul on Emmanuel Ledesma.
55:00 Adam Henley produces a cross.
53:30 Colin Kazim-Richards takes a shot. Jason Steele makes a save. Colin Kazim-Richards conjures a right-footed shot from inside
the six-yard box that clears the bar.
52:05 Lukas Jutkiewicz is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Jake Kean.
50:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Colin Kazim-Richards on Scott McDonald. Josh McEachran takes the free kick.
Correction - 49:39 Scott McDonald delivers the ball, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Lukas Jutkiewicz misses to the right of the
49:39 The ball is crossed by Scott McDonald, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Lukas Jutkiewicz misses to the right
of the target.
49:08 Corner taken right-footed by Grant Leadbitter from the left by-line, Adam Henley makes a clearance.
48:42 Foul by Scott Dann on Scott McDonald, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Grant Leadbitter.
46:14 Joshua King takes a shot. Rhys Williams gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Martin Olsson, Jason Steele
makes a save. Martin Olsson produces a cross, Danny Murphy takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:01 Substitution Rhys Williams comes on in place of Andre Bikey.
45:00+1:08 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
43:55 Centre by Colin Kazim-Richards, save by Jason Steele.
39:57 Joshua King produces a cross, save by Jason Steele. Emmanuel Ledesma sends in a cross. Inswinging corner taken left-footed
by Emmanuel Ledesma, Grant Hanley manages to make a clearance. Joshua King delivers the ball, clearance made by Jonathan Woodgate.
Centre by Scott McDonald, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.
38:41 A cross is delivered by George Friend, save by Jake Kean.
37:52 Jordan Rhodes has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.
36:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marvin Emnes on Danny Murphy. Free kick taken by Martin Olsson.
34:06 Emmanuel Ledesma takes a shot. Save by Jake Kean.
32:23 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Martin Olsson, Jason Steele makes a save.
29:03 Shot from just outside the area by Scott McDonald misses to the right of the target.
28:01 The ball is delivered by Martin Olsson, clearance made by Jonathan Woodgate.
27:00 Effort from long distance by Diogo Rosado goes wide of the left-hand upright.
26:01 Free kick taken by Martin Olsson.
26:01 Booking Emmanuel Ledesma goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
25:54 Emmanuel Ledesma concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Olsson.
23:19 Jordan Rhodes produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post. Grant
Hanley concedes a free kick for a foul on Lukas Jutkiewicz. Emmanuel Ledesma crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed
from right channel, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
22:25 Effort from long distance by Grant Leadbitter goes wide of the right-hand upright.
21:29 Unfair challenge on Andre Bikey by Colin Kazim-Richards results in a free kick. Andre Bikey takes the free kick.
20:48 George Friend has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
20:20 Joshua King produces a cross.
17:55 Inswinging corner taken by Grant Leadbitter from the left by-line, clearance made by Grant Hanley.
16:58 Centre by Emmanuel Ledesma, Lukas Jutkiewicz takes a shot. Save made by Jake Kean.
16:12 Shot from long distance by Marvin Emnes goes wide of the left-hand upright.
14:54 Diogo Rosado takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.
12:55 Effort on goal by Jordan Rhodes from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target. Foul by Lukas Jutkiewicz on Danny
Murphy, free kick awarded. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
11:10 Shot from deep inside the area by Emmanuel Ledesma goes over the bar.
10:20 A cross is delivered by Colin Kazim-Richards.
8:32 The ball is delivered by Grant Leadbitter.
5:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Dann on Marvin Emnes. Strike comes in from Emmanuel Ledesma from the free kick, save
made by Jake Kean.
4:27 The ball is crossed by Martin Olsson.
2:48 Lukas Jutkiewicz produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.
0:31 Centre by Martin Olsson, Colin Kazim-Richards takes a shot. Clearance by George Friend.
0:00 The game begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.