The Blackburn stopper had a busy night but he dealt with everything City threw at him. He was saved by his post in the opening minutes from a Silva strike but early in the second half he made a crucial fingertip save to deny Toure.
The Frenchman worked hard to keep the City forwards under control but he struggled against the pace of Toure, Johnson and Silva. He was beaten down the wing on too many occasion but was lucky that City were unable to capitalise on their chances. Replaced by Diouf with five minutes to go.
The Rovers captain stuck very close to Balotelli and performed excellently to keep the Italian reasonably quiet. Dominant in the air and calm in possession, the centre back had a good game alongside Phil Jones. The Congolese defender went closest for Rovers in the first half with a looping header just before half time but it just dropped wide of Hart’s goal.
Had to keep an eye on Zabaleta’s runs forward but when he had the opportunity he had provided good attacking movement for Rovers. The second half saw him in much more dangerous positions but he still struggled to create clear chances for the strikers.
The promising central defender had the unenviable task of picking up the runs of David Silva and Yaya Toure from midfield. He made two storming runs in the first half out of defence to set up a rare Blackburn attacks but the final ball was just lacking.
The experienced full back had his work cut out trying to contain Johnson and Silva as the City forwards regularly switched wings. Made a crucial goal line clearance from a flicked Gareth Barry header in the first half and tackled hard to keep City at bay.
Making his 300th senior appearance of his career the midfielder had a tough night as Nigel De Jong dominated the middle of the pitch, when he did get time on the ball he was able to set Rovers going but more often than not his final ball let him down. He was replaced by Ruben Rochina in the 62nd minute.
Provided the home side with attacking movement down the right wing but could have offered much more, unfortunately he spent most of his time trying to cover the runs of Kolarov down the City left which meant his forays forward were limited.
The on-loan midfielder worked hard alongside Dunn to try and break up the City attacks, he provided a shield for his defenders when he could but struggled to offer much going forward due to the dominance of De Jong.
Alongside Benjani Roberts worked his heart out and caused some trouble with his pace but he was marshalled well by the City defenders. He had very few sights of goal but try and punish City.
The former City man struggles to make an impact for the home side as he was closely marked by Kompany and Lescott. When he was able to run at the City defence he looked dangerous but he lacked sharpness in front of goal. Was replaced by Kalinic in the 69th minute.
The England goalkeeper had a relatively quiet evening as the City defence kept Rovers attacks at bay, when he was called into action he saved well from a Dunn free kick and claimed the ball well when it was crossed into his area. And the keeper made a crucial stop in the final minute of injury time from a long range Olsson strike to secure his team the win.
Spent the majority of his time on the attack as City’s slick passing created opportunities for him to deliver crosses into the penalty area, unfortunately he lacked a bit of accuracy in his crossing and the Blackburn defence were able to cope with them easily.
The full back handled the pace of Olsson well and looked to cause trouble going forward with some excellent over lapping runs. His final ball let him down but he gave City another option when getting forward.
Tasked with marking Benjani the central defender went about his duties excellently, he was able to out muscle the striker and he dealt with the pace of Roberts easily. He will have been disappointed with his distribution which lacked accuracy sometimes.
Kept Roberts very quiet with tight marking and he dominated the Rovers striker in every aspect of the game, and when he had Benjani to look after he didn’t lose the ball once. An accomplished performance from the City captain which gave them the foundation to attack from.
N. de Jong
The Dutchman bossed the midfield with his tough tackling and simple passing. He was everywhere for City, collecting the ball off Hart and the defenders before moving his side forward with probing passes, he barely gave Dunn and Jermaine Jones a kick.
Struck the post in the third minute with a wonderful volley and that was the start of an impressive evening for the Spaniard. He linked play between the midfield and attack brilliantly and his neat passing created some good openings for his side. Was replaced by Boyata in the final minute of the match.
Looked to support Balotelli as much as possible and caused the Blackburn defence all kinds of troubles with his late runs into the box.
Worked hard alongside De Jong to stifle any Blackburn attacks with tough tackling neat passing, but his lack of pace meant he did get caught on a couple of occasions by the pace of Olsson.
Operating on the right wing the England international was constantly creating chances for City both with his right foot and also cutting in on his natural left. He had a speculative strike in the first half which would have been a wonder goal had it gone in, but it sailed well over Robinson’s crossbar much to the delight of the home crowd. Was replaced by Edin Dzeko in the 71st minute as City went in search of a winning goal.
Led the line on his own but had wonderful support from the midfield, as enigmatic as ever he drifted in and out of the game sometimes looking interested and other times wondering why he was out in the cold on a Monday evening. Was replaced by Vieira with seven minutes to go.
- 13 M. Bunn
- 31 G. Hanley
- 12 M. Pedersen
- 10 M. Fórmica
Replaced Dunn in the 62nd minute and gave the home side a bit of pace going forward but he struggled to create anything of note to test Hart.
Replaced Givet with five minutes to go.
Replaced Benjani in the 69th minute after the fans had been singing his name for 10 minutes before hand. However the Croatian found it just as hard as the man he replaced to make an impact on the game as tight marking from the City defence gave him little space to work in.
- 12 S. Taylor
Replaced Silva in the final minute.
- 7 J. Milner
Replaced Balotelli with seven minutes left as City looked to hold on to their lead.
- 8 S. Wright-Phillips
- 27 Jô
Replaced Johnson in the 71st minute and repaid his manager's decision when he scored four minutes later. He pounced on a loose ball after a Silva shot was deflected to him and he fired it past Robinson from 10 yards.