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FULL-TIME: Blackburn Rovers 0 Manchester City 4
In what looked to be a promising start defensively for Rovers, come the second-half Steve Kean’s side suffered their fifth loss this season after failing to adjust to City’s change of tempo after the break.
First-half Blackburn were looking pretty steadfast at the back despite coming under pressure late on from Mario Balotelli.
An early shot from David Silva was parried away by Paul Robinson with Balotelli striking over on the rebound.
With only a handful of attacking displays, a much-welcomed run from Hoilett saw him beat three City players to deliver a ball to Yakubu only for him to be stopped entering the box.
Fighting back against City’s advances, Rovers kept up the defence throughout the half as a flurry of chances by Balotelli late in the half could have seen City in-front.
Come half-time Rovers went in with the scores level. Whilst their defending had been strong there was little in the way of attack; something Kean will have wanted to change after the break.
Balotelli quickly established himself as a threat once again after his shot just inside the box pounded back off the post on the 50th minute.
City’s attacking threats soon paid off as Adam Johnson curled one past Robinson after Givet’s clearance from the corner fell to his feet.
Rovers weren’t looking so tight at the back anymore after City quickly went 2-0 up when Samir Nasri’s cross was tipped in by Balotelli just shy of the 60th minute.
Rovers tried to gain the upperhand keeping City pressed into their own half for a while but again with little chance of a goal they couldn’t break onto the scoresheet.
Calls for a penalty from the Darwen End fell unheard after Pablo Zabaleta went down; only to be awarded a yellow card by referee Phil Dowd sixty-nine minutes in.
With Rovers failing to drive City out of their box, City inevitably gained their third after the ball fell to Samir Nasri and was driven in goal taking a deflection on the way.
Mauro Formica looked to gain one back for Rovers with a shot from the edge of the box but City keeper Joe Hart made easy work of the save.
With play switching from end to end for the remaining minutes a consolation goal for Rovers wasn’t looking likely apart from an attempt by Yakubu that failed to find the target.
Substitute Stefan Savic twisted the knife even further for Rovers with a headed goal four minutes from time putting City four up.
With Rovers failing to keep up with Mancini’s men after the break it’s no wonder they quickly found the scores against them.
Despite holding strong in the first-half, Rovers just couldn’t cope with City’s advances and with alarmingly few chances of their own to threaten the score came as little of a shock.