In a division where no one in the bottom half wins very often, three straight home wins have given Blackburn some degree of security, but Phil Brown, the Hull manager, was left furious with the sending off of George Boateng that helped the hosts on their way to victory.
Sam Allardyce, Blackburn's manager, thinks that a repeat of their recent run – nine more points – will be enough to secure the chance to do it all over again next season after a Martin Olsson shot that flew in off goalkeeper Boaz Myhill was enough to beat a Hull side forced to play the majority of the game with 10 men after Boateng was sent off. The Dutch midfielder collided in mid-air with Morten Gamst Pedersen, with Brown claiming that Boateng was knocked out. After he received treatment, he was shown a red card by referee Lee Probert.
"To say it's a nonsense is an understatement," Brown said. "Referees are told to take time to make the big decisions and get the right decisions. He had two and a half or three minutes while George was unconscious to make the decision but the players are telling me he already had the red card out of his pocket within seconds of the incident. It's a clash of heads, it's a brave challenge by both players and George Boateng's history, 14 years in the Premier League and two red cards, it's a good career record for a combative midfielder."
The only goal of the game came with just over a quarter of an hour gone, when Pedersen hooked Olsson in behind the Hull defence, with the Swedish full back scampering clear of Craig Fagan and squeezing the ball past Myhill from the tightest angles, with the goalkeeper being awarded the crucial contact.
A man down, Hull barely troubled the hosts and Blackburn passed up numerous opportunities to make the game safe. Olsson, Pedersen and Steven Nzonzi each went close from distance before Myhill kept Hull in the game with two fine saves.
"Ewood Park is a place where everyone's going to come and find it difficult," Allardyce said. "There's some debate about whether it was Martin's goal but it's going to be very harsh to take a piece of ability and piece of outstanding skill like that and not credit it with a goal."
Blackburn (4-5-1): Robinson; Salgado, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson; Emerton (Roberts, 70), Andrews, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Diouf, Kalinic (Reid, 90) Substitutes not used: Brown, Hoilett, Di Santo, Jones, Chimbonda
Hull City (4-4-2): Myhill; McShane (Zaki, 67), Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson (Zayatte, 67); Fagan, Cairney, Boateng, Hunt; Altidore, Venegoor of Hesselink (Olofinjana, 44) Substitutes not used: Duke (gk), Barmby, Garcia, Kilbane
Referee: L Probert (Bristol).
Booked: Blackburn Nelson; Hull City: McShane.
Sent off: Hull City Boateng (40).
Man of the match: Pedersen.