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Blackburn 0 - Man City 1

Ewood Park

Attendance:

Rovers lose at Ewood...

Edin Dzeko notched up his first Premier League goal for Manchester City, as the Citizens pushed on to hold onto a firm grasp of the 4th Champions League spot, whilst Blackburn were left shattered and in relegation trouble, despite a solid performance.

With Roque Santa Cruze inelegible to play, Kean sent out Roberts and Benjani, with Dunn filling in just behind the front 2.

Robinson
Givet
Samba
P Jones
Salgado
Olsson
J Jones
Dunn
Emerton
Benjani
Roberts

Things did not look bright for Rovers from the outset. City dominated possession, at one stage early on, it was 78% to 22% in favour of the away team. A slice of fortune kept Rovers in the game early, with a spectacular David Silva volley crashing into the woodwork, whilst Balotelli's sweetly struck free kick was well saved by Robinson.

City continued the early pressure, using the width of Johnson and Zabaleta, who were creating clean overlap's with their respective fullbacks. The pressure was placed on Givet and Salgado, whilst Olsson and Emerton were doing their best to track back and assist. Barry was next to test the Rovers keeper, and whilst his header beat him, Salgado was there to clear off the line, Jones reacting fastest, poking the ball away from the incoming Balotelli.

Whilst City dominated the opening 25 minutes, Blackburn turned things around in the final 20. Phil Jones decided to force himself up the pitch, linking with Olsson down the left flank. However the young Rover was filthy with himself, after a superb run ended in him being forced over the goal line. Roberts was felled in the box, but with no luck, referee Marriner waved play on. Chris Samba went close, his header not swerving enough, floating past the far post.

0-0 Half Time

The second half started just as the first did, City dominated, moving the ball well and pinning Blackburn in their own half. Yaya Toure kept Robinson on his toes, tipping his header over for a corner. David Silva became more involved, his effort hitting the side netting.

It was the same on the other end, a delightful cross was flicked on by Roberts, with Olsson stretching out and volleying wide. The young Swede continued down the flank, another effort hitting the side netting. Ruben Rochina came on for Dunn, and instantly lit up the pitch with a nice bit of footwork and movement, earning a free kick, which Rovers failed to capitilise on. Kalinic earned a rare chance, replacing Benjani up front.

However multi million pound signing Edin Dzeko hurt Rovers on almost his first touch of the game. A stray shot was deflected by Phil Jones, the ball landing perfectly for the substitute, who calmly stroked it home from 10 yards, giving City a vital lead, and breaking the hearts of the Ewood Faithful.

Rovers went for it all, M B Diouf coming on for Givet, and Samba pushing up front. However Rovers just could not create a clear opportunity, with the best attempt being a powerful drive on goal by Olsson, well saved by Joe Hart, and Phil Jones heading over from 6 yards from a Rochina free kick.

1-0 City

Star Player

Phil Jones

The young man did well, shutting out Balotelli, whilst trying to get the ball and Rovers up the pitch at every opportunity. Would of loved to break the duck with the header

Player Ratings


Robinson 7

A Couple of vital saves to keep Rovers in the game, but for once his long kicking game was not on song. Couldnt do much about the goal

Gael Givet 6

Nothing fancy from the Frenchman, should of secured his flank a bit tighter as City did find a bit of space

Phil Jones 7

Man of the Match

Chris Samba 6

The big man was up for the fight, just didnt impose himself as he normally does. Also had a few chances up the other end

Michel Salgado 6

More a 7 then a 6, but not enough to earn a 7...Looked in control at times, was overlapped at times. Did manage to create a threat in attack

Jermaine Jones 6

Tidy performance, going blow to blow with De Jong. Did what he had to do, forcing City wide rather than through the middle

Martin Olsson 7

Dangerous down the flank, a touch too greedy at times. Probably not use to having 2 men up front to cross the ball to!

Brett Emerton 7

Much better game from Brett. Couple of threatining crosses, however would be dissapointed by the free kick

David Dunn 6

For all the hard work and toil, the final touch is letting him down. Should of pulled the trigger instead of trying to thread the needle

Benjani 5

Poor performance. Rovers needed an outlet, and he couldnt provide

Roberts 6

Slightly better then Benjani, but still, couldnt create. Went down too often, for a man of his size and strength

Rochina

20 minutes, a few good early touches then not much after wards

Kalinic

15 minutes, did not really get involved

MB Diouf

5 minutes...




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The Journalist

Writer: Sasman! Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 25 2011

Time: 10:24PM

Your Comments

another loss...though the boys were up for it, we have nothing in the final third
sasman
Huff? Check. Puff? Check. Cutting edge? Sadly entirely absent. The lads certainly tried their best this evening, but it wasn't good enough. One less chance to get some points on the board. Putting Rochina on was brave, but ultimately the wrong decision as it's the wrong situation to be blooding a new player in. That he gave the ball away in our half for their goal won't do him any good either. Good Lord, I hope Hoilett is fit for Saturday.
rossp2112
Plenty of effort on show but our lack of real quality is obvious for all to see.
Uncle Jack's Nephew
Hart didn't make a proper save all night, plenty of effort, but we couldn't score in a brothel, particularly with the starting two up front, time is running out and Steve "The tool" Kean is still upbeat, guess everything is ok then.
blue_n_white99
No points again, not good enough and one shot of note which Hart saved from Olsson's free kick, Worrying times
glen9mullan
I'd disagree with a couple of ratings Sas. I thought Emerton was crap this evening nowhere near a 7 (maybe you had your yellow tinted specs on). Salgado being overlapped was emertons fault for not tracking and leaving a 2 on 1. Also I thought Salgado was great. Controlled and calm in possesion when others were losing their heads. Also I thought Benjani had a better game than Roberts who was anonymous for too long and then missed our best chance with his header, both deserved a 4. Anyway my thoughts on Kean remain the same, we are too naive and toothless to win games. It's going to come down to one of our lads stepping up to the plate, I just hope one of them has the cojones to do it.
Durks
I agree with Durks.. Salgado was excellent today.. Close to motm, Emerton was the worst Rovers player on the pitch, he couldn't defend, couldn't even get the ball over the wall on a free kick and certainly couldnt run at anyone.. cuts back way too often and breaks down counter attacks. Both strikers were poor but had good first halves. The effort was there for all to see.. but when Hart makes one good save you don't deserve to get anything more than we got today.. our set pieces were diabolical today.. much needed improvement in future.. Also thought JJ had a top game today.. he broke up their midfield countless times, and covered well when Dunn went on a run and couldnt get back with the play..
rover23
Thought both Jone's, Salgado, Olsson and Samba had good games, We had loads of free-kicks in dangerous area's tonight but without gamst on the pitch we aint got anybody capable of causing the opposition problems. Thought the ones mentioned gave their all, whilst Benjani tried, Dunn was ok, but Emerton and Roberts will poor on the night and although it was a better performance effort wise and competing wise, we still aint creating enough to win games
glen9mullan
We do have someone capable of causing the opp problems but sadly he is Canadian and wasn't playing!!! For me Phil Jones was man of the match but anybody not a forward can consider themselves to have had a good game... JJ, Samba, Olsson, Salgado, Dunn and Givet all had very good outings. Just a crippling lack of cutting edge causing us to fail.
Mikey Delap
My old man used to play for Rovers years ago and so I suppose I have a soft spot for you lot. Hope you guys stay up but I have to admit you need someone who has a killer instinct in front of goal.
tudor
Rovers certainly gave us much more of a game than I thought they would, but as some of you pointed out, you have nodobdy to take advantage of all the good build up by actually sticking the ball in the back of the net. Good luck for the rest of the season, you certainly deserve to stay up on team spirity alone. Just hope that's enough.
fifthcolumnblue
First half I didn't realise Emerton or JJones were playing... So gutted that we didn't get a result. But we put in a performance, thats what matters.
FreidelNo.1
Gutted, another 3 pts pass us by. I thought the first 25-30 mins were awful to watch but we woke up after that. We might have got a penalty any other day but who would be good enough to take it?? P Jones was definitely my Man of the Match and was desperately unlucky not to score the header. Jason Roberts showed all aspiring strikers how not to head the ball with his awful header which IMO looked a simple bread and butter header for any half decent footballer. Same old story, played well but nobody to tap the ball in the back of the net. Bolton= must win now or I will be fearing the worst.
ITSALLROVER
 

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