Rovers Return to Old Poor Habits
City of Manchester Stadium
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
Yes Yes I know, this award should go to one of our players, but nobody really stood out, did they....Tugay was the best of our lot, however, Elano and Robinho were just class....Sheer joy to watch them, as much as it is painful
Paul Robinson 6.5
Gael Givet 6
Ryan Nelsen 7
Andre Oijer 5.5
Steven Warnock 7
Vince Grella 6.5
Morten Gamst 7
Benni McCarthy 6
Chris Samba 6.5
3 games to go.....