A tale of two teams, one, featuring one of the strongest home Premiership form against another featuring one of the worst away records, Blackburn Rovers travelled to the Blue half of Manchester, with Former Rovers manager Mark Hughes pitting his wits against Sam Allardyce.
Rovers were of to a bright start, with Gamst and Diouf causing trouble for the Manchester midfield on either flank. Tugay and Grella were pulling the strings in midfield, whilst Samba was playing his adopted role up front, with South African Benni McCarthy. Blackburns defensive line was keeping Robinho and Caicedo quite early on.
However, against the run of play, City took the lead, making Blackburn pay for some woeful defending. Elano’s corner found Andre Oijer, who’s poor clearance was directed into the path of Vincent Kompany. After a round of table tennis, the ball found its way to Caicedo, who controlled and tapped it into the back of the goal, 1-0 City.
Minutes later, City doubled their lead, in similar fashion. Another corner was whipped in, this time Diouf’s clearance only found the path of Robinho, placing his shot into the bottom right corner of the net. 2-0 City. Big Sam’s game plan was torn into pieces……
Rovers tried to pull a goal back, however Tugay and Oijer both had drives which were well of target, and Benni McCarthy’s header from a Gamst Cross was directed over the far post.
Against the run of play, again, City scored a third goal. Steven Ireland collected the ball down the left flank, and as he attempted to cut the ball back into the box, it struck the unfortunate Gael Givet in the arm, and without hesitation, Mike Riley pointed to the spot. Elano stepped up, bottom right corner, 3-0 Man City Half Time.
With nothing to lose, Carlos Villanueva was given an opportunity, replacing Benni McCarthy who picked up a knock. Rovers were given an early opportunity back into the game. A direct ball over the bounced in the box, with Gamst attempting to strike, Onuoha brought down the Norweigan, Mike Riley awarding Blackburn a penalty. Diouf stepped up, however his poorly struck penalty was saved by Given. Diouf headed the rebound, which was parried again by Given, however Andrews was there to tap it into the back of the net, his first touch after replacing Tugay. 3-1 Man City. Doran also came on, replacing Chris Samba.
THe second half really faded away, with Rovers failing to make any chances, unable to snatch another goal. City closed up the game, recording their first premiership win over Blackburn since 1993.
Man City 3 Rovers 1
Paul Robinson 6.5
Dont think he could do much about the goals, not really called into action at other times
Gael Givet 6
Unlucky for Gael, second time he has given a penalty in those circumstances…..
Ryan Nelsen 7
Did his best to shut down Caiceda and Robinho, would be dissapointed in his back line
Andre Oijer 5.5
Looked out of place, was skinned on several occasions
Steven Warnock 7
A few good covering efforts from Warnock, was kept quiet in attack though
Pulled the strings whilst he was out there, but did start to fade in the second half, thought we were going to see a trademark goal from the Maestro, just wasnt to be
Vince Grella 6.5
Quiet game from Vince, poor attempt on goal in the second half
Morten Gamst 7
Looked a threat on the left flank, however his final ball wasn’t up to scratch
Not one of his best games, lost the ball a few too many times on the flank, did whip in 1 or 2 great crosses. Poorly struck penalty, and didnt even finish it second time round
Benni McCarthy 6
Didnt look interested, didnt really see the knock, not sure what happened, but he didnt return
Chris Samba 6.5
He is doing his best, cant complain with that, but he is needed in defence, surely a young striker or even Diouf should be thrown up front.
Showed glimpses of what he is made of, however still not proving he is worth the quoted amount
Was there to finish that goal, and did, not much else though
Not sure on this kid. Looked out of place
3 games to go…..
We lost, Boro Lost, West Brom lost, lets hope Newcastle do their bit and lose against Liverpool. 1 less game and still 6 points away, hopefully we can move on and get something out of the Portsmouth game