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Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 43,967) 2nd May 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Dean

Man City Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

First-half blitz sinks Rovers

Blistering opening 45 minutes sends Blackburn to defeat

Last Updated: 02/05/09 5:23pm

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Caicedo: Opened the scoring

Caicedo: Opened the scoring

A blistering first-half display from Manchester City saw them run out 3-1 winners over Blackburn Rovers at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Man of the match - Elano. I'm not his biggest fan, but he was the stand out player against Blackburn with superb passing and creativity. Goal of the game - Robinho. Rovers might have kept close tabs on the Brazilian wizard for much of the afternoon, but were helpless to prevent the former Real Madrid ace doubling City's lead with a clinical finish Save of the match - Shay Given. The Republic of Ireland ace wanted a clean sheet and thought he might when he denied Diouf from the penalty spot, although he was powerless to prevent Andrews' follow-up. Talking point - Will the season end too soon for City? Hughes' side have been ever so inconsistent this term, but are finishing strongly and are real contenders for a place in next season's Europa League, so has the end of the season come too soon?

Felipe Caicedo, Robinho and Elano all scored in the opening 45 minutes, while substitute Keith Andrews pulled one back for Rovers in the second half.

Blackburn started brightly but it was Mark Hughes' side who forged ahead on 27 minutes when Caicedo stabbed home from close range.

The home side asserted their dominance on the game with two more goals before the break from Brazilians Robinho and Elano, with the latter slotting home from the penalty spot.

Rovers made a fist of it after half time, but only had a consolation from Andrews to show for their efforts after Shay Given saved El Hadji Diouf's penalty.

For almost half an hour, Sam Allardyce's injury-hit side battled manfully, even managing a shot, woefully mistimed as it was, from Tugay.

Disappointed

Hughes must have been disappointed with the efforts of his current club against his old one, particularly as City had something to play for.

Elano produced a couple of neat flicks and Stephen Ireland occasionally threatened something special.

However, it was totally in keeping with the contest as a whole that the opener should be one of the scruffiest seen in the Premier League all season.

Both Ryan Nelsen and Andre Ooijer had the chance to clear Elano's cross and failed. Nigel de Jong's response was an uninspiring prod towards Nedum Onuoha, whose shot lacked direction and power.

Caicedo managed to turn onto it but his effort was little better. It was however, enough to deceive a partially unsighted Paul Robinson who could only watch as it rolled into the corner.

Seven minutes later the former England keeper was beaten again. Once more Elano crossed and De Jong ferried the ball on. This time though, there was a touch of class about Robinho's precise finish.

It took the Brazilian's tally for the season to 15 and made it three in three games after a long barren streak, with the prospect of more to come.

City had not finished their first-half scoring either.

Referee Mike Dean seemed to have made a fairly routine decision when he awarded a penalty for Gael Givet's handball. But Rovers' protests were so fierce, Ooijer, Nelsen and Vince Grella were all booked. Not that it had any effect on Elano.

Tucked home

Like his fellow countryman Robinho, the midfielder seems to have found a rich vein of form and he tucked home his third goal in four games.

With victory assured, City returned to their former scrappy ways, the introduction of the popular Valeri Bojinov for Caicedo, who is starting to produce consistently effective performances, just about the only thing to raise a cheer.

Tugay's bad tempered reaction to being substituted by Allardyce had diverted attention long enough to leave general bemusement at Dean's second penalty award of the day.

Yet Onuaha's clumsy attempt at winning the ball inside his own box definitely left an imprint on Morten Gamst Pedersen rather than the ball.

And while Given was able to keep out Diouf's penalty, plus his follow-up, substitute Andrews was able to tap home the loose ball with his first touch.

Despite their greater enthusiasm, it was all Rovers could muster, so their fight for survival extends another week although the teams below Allardyce's side are so bad it is quite possible Blackburn have enough points already.

Manchester CityTeam StatisticsBlackburn Rovers
3Goals1
31st Half Goals0
4Shots on Target6
1Shots off Target6
7Blocked Shots4
7Corners6
11Fouls15
1Offsides1
2Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
75.5Passing Success71.6
10Tackles16
80Tackles Success81.2
49.1Possession50.9
46.7Territorial Advantage53.3

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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