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Premier League

  • April 25, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 23529
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Live Commentary

  • Our correspondent Alex Fisher on the game: Well Manchester City left that late but Roberto Mancini's decision to bring edin Dzeko paid off within minutes. The Bosnian pounced minutes after replacing Adam Johnson to fire City's winning goal and send the travelling support delirious. As for Blackburn, well they huffed and puffed but they lack that clinical touch in front of goal which is why they haven't won in 11 games.
  • There is the full time whistle and the goal that separates the two teams came from the under fire Dzeko who provided that bit of quality at the right end of the pitch which was missing from Blackburn all evening long. Blackburn will feel hard done by but the lack of quality up front was on show the whole evening and Steve Kean will be worrying from now to the end of the season.
  • 90' + 4'
    That could be the last chance. A free kick from 35 yards out is struck by Olsson but Hart gets down well to parry the ball.
  • 90' + 3'
    City playing with just Toure as a striker it seems as they look to close this game out.
  • 90'
    SubstitutionDavid Silva D. Boyata
  • 90'
    The game is closing out towards its end now. Rovers, try as they might, can't seem to carve open any clear cut chances.
  • 87'
    Blackburn running out of steam here and the only fans that can be heard at the moment are the away fans who were suspiciously absent for a large part of the game.
  • 85'
    SubstitutionG. Givet Mame Biram Diouf
  • 84'
    Rovers certainly finding it difficult to play with the same tempo as before the goal. City sitting back and holding onto their lead professionally.
  • 83'
    SubstitutionMario Balotelli Patrick Vieira
  • 81'
    The signs are that City are content with this lead and will try and make Blackburn chase shadows. City are dealing with this quite calmly.
  • 78'
    Our correspondent at Ewood Park Alex Fisher: Suddenly the City fans are in full voice after Edin Dzeko fires them into the lead three minutes after replacing Adam Johnson, the Bosnian's name is being sung at full volume by the travelling fans and Mancini must be very happy his change paid off so quickly.
  • 75'
    Goal Edin Dzeko
  • 75'
    GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Well it is a weekend of big money signings scoring their first goals in the Premier League. Silva has a shot which is sliced straight into the path of Dzeko who, practically with his first touch, side foots the ball into the corner. What a sickener for Blackburn.
  • 75'
    GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Well it is a weekend of big money signings scoring their first goals in the Premier League. Silva has a shot which is sliced straight into the path of Dzeko who, practically with his first touch, side foots the ball into the corner. What a sickener for Blackburn.
  • 74'
    City get sight of the goal for the first time since the beginning of the half and Kolarov strikes it from distance to be saved by the keeper.
  • 72'
    SubstitutionAdam Johnson Edin Dzeko
  • 72'
    City cannot keep the ball, they have been very poor here in the second half. And rather surprisingly Johnson comes off for Dzeko. Mancini gets paid to mkae these decisions but it seems a strange choice as Johnson provides a genuine wide threat.
  • 70'
    SubstitutionBenjani Nikola Kalinic
  • 70'
    Yellow Card Brett Emerton
  • 69'
    Decent chance to get a shot on target. Benjani picks up the ball on the left hand side and does well to create some space but his shot from the edge of the area is very poor and dragged wide.
  • 67'
    It's all Blackburn here and City have to change something to get three points out of this or are they going to waste the opportunity Spurs gifted them on Saturday.
  • 64'
    The first throw of the dice here from Kean who really thinks they can sneak a win here. Rochina is on and playing just behind the front two, very interesting move from the Blackburn boss.
  • 63'
    SubstitutionDavid Dunn Rubén Rochina
  • 61'
    It's time for Balotelli to look isolated for City, they are not doing a good enough job keeping the ball and getting to their forward thinking players. The Rovers players sense something here are buzzing all over the place.
  • 60'
    Yellow Card Nigel De Jong
  • 58'
    City looking a little shocked here, they haven't turned up in this second half yet and the home fans sense a shock. A change up front could be forthcoming from the home side right now just to add a little bit of quality to their end product.
  • 55'
    Our man at Ewood Park Alex Fisher: There are no nerves from the City fans at the moment, I think they're used to this kind of play from their side, but they need to score quickly before the hosts begin to smell an upset. And the Blackburn fans seem really up for it this half, I think they felt City got the majority of the decisions in the first half so it's backs against the wall and come out fighting time.
  • 54'
    Blackburn looking increasingly dangerous from set pieces here and they are playing some better football here. Olsson and Emerton on both flanks are enjoying some of the ball now.
  • 52'
    Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
  • 51'
    Big, big chance. Emerton has the ball in space on the right hand side and he crosses perfectly for Roberts who had a free header but somehow he gets no contact on the ball. Olsson then pokes a leg at the ball which hits the side netting but quite how Roberts didn't get the ball on target from the header I'm not sure.
  • 50'
    Not quite the one way traffic that the beginning of the first half was and it looks a much more open game.
  • 49'
    Yellow Card Phil Jones
  • 47'
    Good save. Silva gets the ball on the left edge of the area, his cross went to the back post and Toure leapt ahead of everyone towards the goal. Robinson got across well to save.
  • 46'
    Back underway here at Ewood Park with no changes to either side.
  • That is half time and what a difference 25 minutes can make. The beginning of the game saw wave after wave of City attacks which Rovers just about kept at bay but as the half wore on Rovers gained in confidence and by the end of the half they were the better team. City must up the tempo in the second half if they want to get something from this game.
  • 45' + 1'
    Just one minute of added time here.
  • 44'
    City look bereft of ideas here as Blackburn, so sluggish early on, gain in confidence. It would be a brave man to pick a winner right now though.
  • 41'
    Not far away. A Blackburn free kick is cleared but only to Salgado who flights a beautiful hanging ball which Samba heads towards goal but it just drifts wide. Blackburn the better of the two teams at the moment.
  • 38'
    Benjani the latest player to have a chance for Rovers. The cross came in from the right hand side and he finds space but his header goes harmlessly wide.
  • 35'
    About time. Rovers threaten the City goal and it comes from the unlikely source of centre half Phil Jones who ran from his own half and just stumbled as he looked to pull the trigger from a tight angle. He wins a corner which is headed wide by Samba. Much better from Balckburn.
  • 32'
    The tempo of the game has dropped dramatically in the last few minutes as neither team keeps hold of the ball long enough. Almost as if they are hoping something will happen rather than trying anything too adventurous.
  • 30'
    Yellow Card Gareth Barry
  • 29'
    City have certainly been becalmed now after their frantic opening 15 minutes, Blackburn are getting on the ball more and more importantly when they get it they are starting to keep for a sustained amount of time, rather than the one way traffic that was the beginning of the game.
  • 26'
    Rovers may have settled into the game but keeping the ball is still something of a problem for the home side here. The two strikers appear a bit isolated at the moment as Blackburn set up very deep to combat City.
  • 23'
    City still enjoying most of the possession but they are beginning to look less threatening. Rovers have taken a long time but it finally looks like they may have settled into the game.
  • 20'
    Controversy? No, not for me. Blackburn's first forray into the City area and Roberts takes on Kompany. There appears to minimal contact on the Grenadian striker who then delays his leap to the ground which isn't bought by the referee. Certainly encouraging signs for Blackburn though.
  • 17'
    City go close again. The corner is swung in and Barry gets to the ball a little too easily but his flick on is cleared off the line by Salgado on the back post.
  • 15'
    Silva seems to have been given a free roaming role here this evening and he is lapping up the space being afforded by the Rovers defence who haven't been able to get tight enough to the Spaniard.
  • 12'
    City still camped in Rovers' half and the home side just cannot get a foothold in this game. They may have set out to keep the game tight and try and catch them on the counter but Kean certainly would have expected to have been on the ball a bit more.
  • 9'
    Rovers have improved in the last couple of minutes. City have still seen the lion's share of the ball but Rovers have defended much better. 79% possession says it all about City's domination thus far.
  • 6'
    City have had plenty of the ball early on here as Rovers are giving them far too much space. They will need to close down much quicker if they are to stop City scoring a few this evening.
  • 3'
    Well that was very close. Zabaleta was played into acres of space on the right hand side and his cross was knocked down by Kolarov into the path of Silva who drove the ball against the bar from the edge of the area. Real let off that for Rovers.
  • 1'
    We are underway here at Ewood Park.
  • Blackburn have not won now in 10 games and a result is an absolute must for Rovers. Kean has the shadow of the Venky's hanging over his head should they fail to win tonight while Mancini is still riding on the wave of optimism after sealing City their first major final for 35 years.
  • Unsurprisingly Roberto Mancini has kept faith with the same team that triumphed in the FA Cup semi final against Manchester United nine days ago. Balotelli will lead the line with support coming in the shape of Silva, Johnson and Toure. They will be hopeful of overcoming a Rovers side desperately short of form.
  • Nine days since their disappointing defeat away Everton should have provided Steve Kean and his men enough to regroup. Kean has decided to make just two changes to the team. He has replaced Rochina and (enforced) Roque Santa Cruz with the much maligned Benjani and Jason Roberts. A severe lack of goals this season has seen Rovers struggle this season and fans will be hoping this new combination will produce the goals needed to stay in the league.
  • Man City line-up: Hart Kompany Zabaleta Kolarov Lescott Johnson Barry Silva De Jong Y Toure Balotelli Subs: Taylor, Boyata, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Vieira, Dzeko, Jo
  • Blackburn line-up: Robinson Olsson Samba Givet Salgado P Jones J Jones Emerton Dunn Mwaruwari Roberts Subs: Bunn, Hanley, Formica , Pedersen, Kalinic, Rochina, Diouf
  • Good evening and welcome everybody to Goal.com's live commentary of Manchester City's visit to Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers. Kean has made much of the fact that Rovers have lost only once at home since he took over however the lack of wins means they are in one hell of a relegation scrap while Roberto Mancini's men look to take advantage of Spurs' slip up on Saturday to consolidate fourth place. All to play for!!