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.
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.
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
Gael Givet 6
Phil Jones 7
Chris Samba 6
Michel Salgado 6
Jermaine Jones 6
Martin Olsson 7
Brett Emerton 7
David Dunn 6