Sunday, 26 February 2012

City vs Blackburn Rovers: Match Report

By Aaron Leggott

City secured their 18th consecutive Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a 3-0 win at the hands of Blackburn Rovers. It has now been a full calendar since Fulham secured a 2-2 draw and Blackburn didn't threaten to repeat the same feat as Kean's men whimpered to another away defeat.

The result, which became Blackburn's 15th defeat of the season, didn't flatter the hosts at all as they dominated proceedings from start to finish.

Goals from Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko will have surely pleased manager Roberto Mancini as City kept 82% of the ball during the course of the match.

The Blues started the game as they meant to go on, and it took just two minutes for Paul Robinson to be called into action after a neat exchange between Adam Johnson and David Silva found Balotelli unmarked in the area. His effort was challenging for Robinson, who was at full stretch to stop the ball finding the bottom corner.

It didn't take the enigmatic Italian to open the scoring though, after Junior Hoilett was caught by Yaya Toure, who quickly put Silva away on a counter attack. Silva found Aleksandar Kolarov, whose pinpoint cross was finished coolly by Balotelli, whose commitment was there to see after he ran half the length of the pitch just to get on the end of Kolarov's cross.

City were emphatic throughout the whole match. Sergio Aguero was his usual self and provided both Scott Dann and Grant Hanley with numerous headaches in how to deal with the Argentinian. His best chance of the half came just before the break after he wriggled his way past Blackburn's defence against all odds before putting the ball just past the post.

However, he made no mistake after the break and doubled City's advantage after pouncing upon a very poor mistake from Paul Robinson. A corner from Johnson should've been dealt with easily by Blackburn's number one, but he palmed the ball straight into Aguero's path, who struck the ball with venom into the bottom corner.

City were getting increasingly dominant and Dzeko topped off a marvelous performance from the league leaders with one of his first touches after coming on. Within one minute of replacing Balotelli, Kolarov found the Bosnian unmarked with an emphatic cross, and all Dzeko had to do was direct the ball into the goal, which he did with consummate ease.

But Blackburn fans didn't go home empty handed of sorts. Another exhilarating stat which proves just how one sided this game was that Blackburn's first shot on goal came in the 92nd minute, when Yakubu's shot was held comfortably by Joe Hart. Another win at the Etihad which stretched the lead to five points at the top, albeit temporarily. A win against Bolton next weekend will beat Newcastle's record of consecutive home wins from the 1995/96 season. 

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