Ruthless City overpower Rovers

Manchester City pulled five points clear at the top of the Premier League after overpowering Blackburn 3-0 with ease at The Etihad on Saturday.

Last Updated: 25/02/12 at 19:52 Post Comment

Balotelli: Got the ball rolling for City

Balotelli: Got the ball rolling for City

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

In the week Carlos Tevez was welcomed back to training, leading strikers Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko reminded manager Roberto Mancini of their talents in a one-sided win.

Blackburn barely mustered a shot on goal as they were completely outplayed and their defeat might have been embarrassing but for a string of superb saves by Paul Robinson.

Robinson was most impressive early on and did brilliantly to keep the scoreline at 1-0, after Balotelli's strike, at the interval.

Yet his mistake led to Aguero's second and he could not prevent City's inevitable stroll to victory.

While Balotelli, Aguero and Dzeko can celebrate scoring 52 goals between them this term, relegation-threatened Rovers must regroup quickly for their battle ahead.

The evening was all about City, for whom Balotelli, sporting a mohican, made an impressive return to domestic action after a month away from it due to a four-game ban.

Yaya Toure's return to the Premier League for the first time since January 3, due to African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast, was also welcomed as City set themselves up for their final title push.

Balotelli joined Aguero up front and Adam Johnson came in for Samir Nasri in a reshaped attack.

Blackburn handed a debut to new signing Marcus Olsson, who joined his brother Martin in the team, while Radosav Petrovic featured. After illness during the week, Steven N'Zonzi did not enter the fray until the 70th minute.

Yet aside from Robinson, little was seen of any Rovers players as City dominated from start to finish.

The hosts gave an early warning of their intentions as Balotelli tested Robinson with just a minute gone.

David Silva and Johnson combined on the right before the England winger's low cross was turned sharply at goal by Balotelli, but Robinson saved low to his left.

Johnson created space to shoot from distance but Robinson parried and the ball was hacked clear.

Robinson was in action again moments later as a Balotelli free-kick took a slight deflection off the wall and needed to be pushed away.

Blackburn finally cracked on the half-hour as City counter-attacked with Silva releasing Aleksandar Kolarov on the left.

The Serbian powered forward and pulled the ball back for Balotelli who, six yards out, instinctively clipped it past Robinson at the near post.

He celebrated by unveiling a T-shirt with a message telling his girlfriend Rafaella he loves her - a rather more modest offering than the previous 'Why Always Me?', which referred to his notorious madcap, off-field antics.

Blackburn wanted a penalty as they made a rare attack moments later.

Morten Gamst Pedersen was shaping to shoot when he went down under a Nigel de Jong challenge but referee Mike Jones played on.

Despite being beaten, Robinson continued to impress, saving another sharp effort from Silva.

There was better to come from the former England goalkeeper as he palmed away a backheeled Vincent Kompany volley at a corner and he deserved the luck as Toure put the rebound wide.

Toure went close again just before the interval but again fired wide while Aguero shot across goal from a tight angle.

City showed no let-up as the second half began with Toure powering forward to tee up Johnson, whose shot was deflected wide.

The seemingly inevitable second goal came after 52 minutes as Robinson showed his fallibility.

The goalkeeper spilled a Silva corner and Aguero was on hand to blast in on the half-volley.

City suffered a moment of alarm just before the hour as Toure landed awkwardly attempting to cross and Aguero also pulled up.

Both required treatment but were able to continue.

Balotelli left the field to a standing ovation with 12 minutes remaining, moments after taking a knock in an aerial challenge in the area and requiring treatment.

His replacement, Dzeko, wasted little time in making an impression as he headed home the third two minutes later.

Kolarov found space down the left and whipped in a superb cross for the Bosnian, who turned in his 18th of the campaign.

Blackburn finally made Joe Hart work in injury time, but Ayegbeni Yakubu's shot was weak and was greeted by ironic cheers from the home fans.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 03 May 2015
16:00
Tottenham 0-1 Man City Report
13:30
Chelsea 1-0 C Palace Report
Saturday, 02 May 2015
17:30
Man Utd 0-1 W Brom Report
15:00
A Villa 3-2 Everton Report
Liverpool 2-1 QPR Report
S'land 2-1 So'ton Report
Swansea 2-0 Stoke Report
West Ham 1-0 Burnley Report
12:45
Leicester 3-0 Newcastle Report
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
19:45
Leicester 1-3 Chelsea Report

Footer 365

Kenny Miller said Rangers have to improve on form against Queen of the South

Kenny Miller said Rangers have to “get to grips” with play-off opponents Queen of the South if they are to progress.

Juan Mata worried Liverpool could catch Manchester United

Juan Mata admits Manchester United risk being caught by Liverpool if they cannot end their poor run of form.

Juventus v Real Madrid preview: Andrea Pirlo full of respect for Real

Andrea Pirlo has described Champions League semi-final opponents Real Madrid as the "most important club" in the world.

Mail Box

Blaming Van Gaal For United Slump...

Wayne Rooney in midfield, the same balls aimed at Marouane Fellaini...Louis van Gaal has to find a solution. And a Burnley fan embraces relegation...

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company