Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City match report - Manchester City FC

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Nasri fires the ball in the net
  • Blackburn Rovers

    Rovers  0

  • Manchester City

    City  4

    A Johnson 56, Balotelli 59, Nasri 72, Savic 86

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  • 01 October 2011 16:55
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson
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Champions League hangover? Not likely, not with this squad to choose from as City bounced back from Munich with the sort of victory they will need to dig out this winter as title aspirants.

Not vintage maybe, but Roberto Mancini's men showed that one bad night in Bayern won't upset their momentum or force a re-think on attacking intent, certainly not in the Premier League at any rate.

Adam Johnson, sometimes seen as a luxury away from home last season, drew on his back catalogue to reprise his wonder goal at Sunderland soon after signing, a strike destined to be voted goal of the season.

His carbon-copy hit at Ewood, delivered into the top corner with similar unflappable panache, deflated struggling Blackburn's bravado and paved the way for what became a comfortable victory.

Further goals from Mario BalotelliSamir Nasri - the latter sparking furious protests against the home manager - and Stefan Savic emphasised City's superiority after an unspectacular first half.

Mancini decided to go with Balotelli as his spearhead, the Italian having done enough by scoring in his last two appearances to get the nod over Bosnian team-mate Edin Dzeko.

Mancini Mid Game2

Dzeko's petulant reaction to being taken off in Munich - where Balotelli was suspended - will have had nothing to do with the manager's selection, the pair having quickly buried the hatchet later.

Balo is certainly a fans' favourite, although his first effort on goal elicited groans from the packed away end as he skied a decent chance after Paul Robinson could only parry from David Silva.

But the young striker's game is more about taking a risk, rather than steadying himself and playing the percentages - it would have looked good bulging the roof of the net for Super Mario

...Rovers 0 City 4

He was working well enough at his game, although he lost his original support player in Sergio Aguero as the Argentine limped off just before the half-hour nursing an apparent groin injury.


Nasri, one of the six Munich combatants left out of the Ewood line-up, stepped off the bench and busied himself with a cracking shot deflected for a corner after a Rovers error at the back.

Balotelli's appetite to add to his strikes against Everton and Birmingham became more apparent before half time when he had former England keeper Robinson on tenterhooks.

You can't second-guess his intentions - maybe because he's never sure what he will do himself - and a superb shot out of nothing curled wickedly within inches of Robinson's exposed right-hand post.

Then he concocted a bicycle kick when Joleon Lescott's header at a corner dropped favourably, followed by a classic near-post strike that only just finished up in the side-netting.

After hitting the post with a great effort, he was finally pipped in his quest to break the deadlock as Johnson launched that stunning, calm and deliberatestrike after 54 minutes.

But Balotelli, having led the assault, was not to be denied, and five minutes later he came up with a brilliant near-post finish from Nasri's cross to give City the breathing space they needed.  
When Nasri took advantage of a Rovers defence in disarray to snatch a third via a deflection, the Blues were home and dry, though Savic weighed in with a firm header from Nasri's corner.

Savic Goal

It was a far cry in the end from last season's tight and hard-fought game, settled by a single Dzeko goal. And it was just the tonic to take away the taste of that Munich night out.

Match details

Saturday 01 October 2011, 3:00PM

Ewood Park Att:24,760
Barclays Premier League

Phil Dowd


Blackburn Rovers:

Robinson, Samba, Givet, Dann, Pedersen, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Lowe, Yakubu, Goodwillie (Formica 61)

Unused subs:
Bunn, Hanley, Vukcevic, Slew, Rochina, Roberts


Manchester City:

Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Y Toure, Milner; A Johnson (Savic, 84), Aguero (Nasri, 27), Silva; Balotelli (Dzeko, 88).

Unused subs:
Pantilimon, Clichy, Barry, De Jong

Zabaleta 67

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.
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