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Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 46,782) 25th February 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: M Jones

Man City Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers Blackburn

Man City 3

M Balotelli (30)
S Aguero (52)
E Dzeko (81)

ft

Sky Sports 2 HD

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 7:27 pm, February 25th 2012

  1. Thanks for all your comments today folks. Don't forget, you can always email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or follow me on Twitter, @RazMirza Speak to you all soon.

  2. FULL TIME: City are too good for a limp Blackburn side at the Ethiad Stadium. They move five points clear of Manchester United thanks to goals from Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and substitute Edin Dzeko.

  3. 90+2

    SAVE BY HART! Huge cheers as Joe Hart makes a save on his 150th City appearance. Yakubu looked to bend his right-footed effort into the far corner.

  4. 90+1

    City are on course to become only the sixth club in top-flight history to win 18 consecutive home matches after today...impressive stuff!

  5. 90

    There will be a minimum of three added minutes. A few more minutes of torment for Rovers.

  6. 89

    Selfish play by Aleksandar Kolarov who decides to to have a pop at goal rather than cross the ball.

  7. 86

    SUBSTITUTION: James Milner replaces the hobbling Yaya Toure.

  8. 84

    Another injury concern for Yaya Toure who is in need of some more medical attention.

  9. A picture goal for City, who are edging five points clear of Man Utd now. Aleksandar Kolarov's delicious cross from the left is gobbled up by substitute Edin Dzeko - just 1 minute and 21 seconds after coming on.

  10. 81

    GOAL: Man City 3 (Edin Dzeko 81) Blackburn 0.

  11. 79

    Blackburn create half a chance as Morten Gamst Pedersen fires in a fierce volley which is deflected away for a corner.

  12. 78

    SUBSTITUTION: Off comes Mario Balotelli and he is replaced by Edin Dzeko to a standing ovation.

  13. 76

    Pablo Zabaleta shows good pace down the right before his cross is superbly defended by Bradley Orr with Mario Balotelli breathing down his neck.

  14. 73

    Joe Hart, who has had nothing to do this evening kicks the ball downfield.

  15. 72

    Well, Pizarro was involved in a goal and scored one himself on his debut for City against FC Porto in midweek. I wonder what sort of an impact he will have in the closing stages of this game?

  16. 71

    SUBSTITUTION: City make their first change as David Pizarro replaces Adam Johnson.

  17. 70

    SUBSTITUTIONS: Blackburn changes then! Steven Nzonzi and Ruben Rochina replace Radosav Petrovic and Mauro Formica.

  18. 68

    Hoilett's attempted effort from the edge of the box hits Mauro Formica in the back and City can clear their lines.

  19. 65

    Rovers cannot hold onto the ball at the moments and City have had 88 per cent posession since the start of the second half. Says it all really!

  20. 62

    Silva finds Pablo Zabaleta, who looks to cut across his right-footed effort into the path of Aguero who really didn't see it coming to him at the speed of light.

  21. 60

    Luckily for Roberto Mancini, both men are now back on the pitch and will hope to run off their injuries.

  22. 58

    It's a lower back injury for Yaya Toure. He landed awkwardly and Aguero is also in need of some attention after a challenge by Dann.

  23. 57

    Yaya Toure is in need of some medical attention at the moment with an injury to his hamstring or is it his back. In any case, he looks in pain!

  24. 54

    City are heading for an 18th successive league victory at home after that goal. Rovers have kept just one clean sheet in their last 31 matches on the road as Yakubu wins a corner.

  25. Oh dear, poor Paul Robinson...what a howler! From the resulting corner by David Silva, the keeper has all the time in the world to pluck the ball out of the air, but opts to palm it away...but sadly for him, straight into the path of Aguero, who lashes his effort into the back of the onion sack.

  26. 52

    GOAL: Man City 2 (Sergio Aguero 52) Blackburn 0.

  27. 52

    YELLOW CARD: Bradley Orr is booked for a late tackle on Mario Balotelli.

  28. 51

    Yaya Toure sets up Adam Johnson on the edge of the area, but the winger's effort is blocked away for a corner.

  29. 49

    Mario Balotelli turns in a tight space but is eventually crowded out and Blackburn break, but not for long as City quickly win the ball back.

  30. 48

    The hosts keep possession in the middle of the park with Silva combining with Toure and De Jong.

  31. 46

    Blackburn get the second half underway and with the odds against them, maybe Steve Kean will order his players to have a go at City now.

  32. 1832

    If you'd like to air your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me @RazMirza and I'll publish a many as I can.

  33. 1832

    Manchester City are now 1/20 to claim victory with SKY BET, who make Blackburn 50/1 and the draw 10/1. My pre-match prediction of 4-0, is down from 9/1 to 6/1. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your bets.

  34. HALF TIME: Manchester City are on target to go five points clear of their rivals United thanks to Mario Balotelli's goal. Yaya Youre won the ball on the halfway line before finding Silva who picked out Kolarov down the left and his cross was met by the Italian in the six-yard box. City could have added further goals from Sergio Aguero and Adam Johnson but Paul Robinson has been in top form for the visitors.

  35. 45+2

    CLOSE FOR CITY! Balotelli finds Aguero with a sublime pass and the little Argentinian battles his way past Scott Dann before firing his shot just wide of the far post.

  36. 45+1

    Mario Balotelli picks out Aleksandar Kolarov and the full-back lashes his volley across the face of goal with City players looking to turn the ball home.

  37. 45

    Two additional minutes to be added on as Toure spreads the ball out wide.

  38. 44

    Mario Balotelli feels his was pulled back by Radosav Petrovic but play is allowed to go on.

  39. 43

    The corner is headed out to Sergio Aguero, but the striker's attempted volley is way over the crossbar.

  40. 42

    Joleon Lescott's diagonal ball is headed out by the unlucky Martin Olsson.

  41. 40

    Here's one for the video library...David Silva totally miscontrols his attempted cross from the left. Wow!

  42. 39

    Roberto Mancini has certainly brought the best out of Balotelli this season.

  43. 38

    Marcus Olsson looks for Yakubu and Martin Olsson's left-footed cross is headed away allowing City to break.

  44. 37

    City have had nine attempts on target in this first half with Blackburn yet to trouble Joe Hart.

  45. 35

    WHAT A MISS! Vincent Kompany's flick is palmed away by Robinson but Yaya Toure, in front of goal manages to volley the ball wide.

  46. 33

    City are now looking to double their lead as they press Rovers back.

  47. 32

    By the way the Italian's celebrations afterwards were very familiar. He lifted up his jersey to reveal a t-shirt which read: Raffaella: I love you (in Italian of course Ti Amo) To his model girlfriend Raffaella Fico!

  48. City breach Rovers backline at last! David Silva finds the run of Aleksandar Kolarov down the left and his cross is slotted into the back of the net by Balotelli. Easy as you like!

  49. 30

    GOAL: Man City 1 (Mario Balotelli 30) Blackburn 0.

  50. 29

    If City avoid defeat at the Edhiad today, they would have gone an entire year unbeaten at home...some stat!

  51. 28

    Petrovic is just getting some medical attention, but he's back up and stretching his arm.

  52. 27

    You feel that Robinson is going to have a busy evening as Radosav Petrovic falls awkwardly under Sergio Aguero's challenge.

  53. 26

    Hoilett is late in with a challenge this time and it's a little closer to the edge of the area. On the right of the area and Mario Balotelli's sizzler is palmed away by the busy Robinson.

  54. 24

    CLOSE AGAIN FOR CITY! Adam Johnson collects the ball on the right before cutting inside on his left-foot before attempting to beat Paul Robinson at his near post, but the keeper parries his shot away.

  55. 22

    YELLOW CARD: Grant Hanley is booked for a late challenge on Mario Balotelli.

  56. 21

    Radosav Petrovic needlessly gives away a free-kick and after some intense pressure, the ball comes out wide to Pablo Zabaleta who hangs his cross up for Mario Balotelli, but the Italian falls to the ground claiming he was pushed. However, referee Mike Jones waves away appeals.

  57. 19

    Yakubu gits the ball to Sergio Aguero, but once again the shot is blocked and moments later Grant Hanley throws his body at the ball to block yet another effort.

  58. 18

    City are camped in Rovers half at the moment. They're going to have to be patient you feel.

  59. 17

    Well, Kean is still in charge of Rovers Josh even though three Premier League managers have already been sacked so far this season. He was favourite to be the first one sacked I'm sure you recall.

  60. 15

    City win a corner and although Rovers clear the ball away, Nigel De Jong header back in finds Yaya Toure in an onside position but he's first touch is poor allowing Rovers' defenders to swarm around him and hack the ball away.

  61. 12

    Rovers have defended well thus far, although there is still a very long way to go in this game.

  62. 11

    And now Radosav Petrovic brings Mario Balotelli down wide right this time but Silva's inswinging cross is headed out once again.

  63. 10

    Yaya Toure has a pop at goal from a prodigious distance, but it's hopelessly wide.

  64. 8

    David Silva wins City a free-kick out wide left which Aleksandar Kolarov whips over but Rovers head clear.

  65. 7

    Adam Johnson collects the ball on the edge of the box but his pass to Pablo Zabaleta leaves a lot to be desired.

  66. 6

    City clear their lines from the corner and now Roberto Mancini's men are back on the ball.

  67. 5

    The ball in causes a few problems and Grant Hanley's attempted effort takes a deflection and goes out for a corner.

  68. 4

    Rovers win a free-kick on halfway as Marcus Olsson spins away but then gets pulled down by his marker.

  69. 3

    Very aggressive start to the game by City. Rovers have yet to get a touch with Marcus Olsson playing very deep at the moment.

  70. 2

    GREAT SAVE! What a start that very nearly was for City as Paul Robinson shows terrific reactions to palm away Mario Balotelli's left-foot drive from close-range after a free flowing move from the men in blue.

  71. 1

    City get the game underway at the Ethiad Stadium. Can they get off to another lightning start like they did against FC Porto in midweek I wonder?

  72. 1729

    We're moments away from kick-off fans, so keep those views coming. Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me @RazMirza and I'll publish a many as I can.

  73. 1719

    Manchester City are 1/6 to claim victory with SKY BET, who make Blackburn 14/1 and the draw 6/1. City's Sergio Aguero is favourite to bag the first goal at 5/2 while Mario Balotelli is 11/4. New signing David Pizarro is a good outside bet at 11/2 to score in 90 minutes if he comes on. Meanwhile, Rovers' Yakubu is 10/1 for the visitors. Morten Gamst Pedersen is 6/1 to score in 90 minutes. Simon Vukcevic is a 28/1 shot to score first although he starts on the bench. I'm going for a pre-match prediction of 4-0, which is 9/1. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your bets.

  74. 1715

    Let's have a quick look at the betting..

  75. 1714

    Mario Balotelli makes his first Premier League appearance in a month as he returned to the City starting line-up today. The Italian, who has served a four-match domestic ban, comes in along with Adam Johnson in a reshaped attack. Samir Nasri and the injured Gareth Barry make way while the leaders' full-backs are again rotated with Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov replacing Micah Richards and Gael Clichy.

  76. 1710

    Struggling Blackburn hand a debut to new signing Marcus Olsson, who joined brother Martin in the team, and Radosav Petrovic is included in central midfield.

  77. 1656

    MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Silva, Aguero, Johnson, Balotelli.

  78. 1656

    SUBS: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Pizarro, Dzeko, Nasri, Clichy.

  79. 1655

    BLACKBURN: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Petrovic, Hoilett, Formica, Marcus Olsson, Yakubu.

  80. 1655

    SUBS: Bunn, Modeste, Nzonzi, Rochina, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Henley.

  81. 1655

    REFEREE: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

  82. 1655

    Here come the teams...

  83. 1654

    Let me know your thoughts Rovers fans ahead of this crunch clash. Email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me @RazMirza and I'll publish a many as I can.

  84. 1650

    Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has warned his team-mates Blackburn striker Ayegbeni Yakubu will punish any complacency. "I know big Yak from my Everton days. He is a bubbly character. If you switch off for a second, he will punish you. He has scored a lot of goals recently. If you look at his record, it is up there with the best. None of us will doubt his ability come the weekend."

  85. 1648

    Christopher Samba last night finally completed his move away from Blackburn after he signed for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for an undisclosed fee. The 27-year-old had made a transfer request in January but remained at Ewood Park after the winter window closed when possible moves to QPR or Tottenham failed to materialise. Assistant manager Eric Black has backed the rest of the Rovers squad to cope without the towering defensive presence of Samba, starting this evening at Manchester City. The Scot said: "He hasn't played for a few weeks and our performances have been exceptional. Obviously there was a blip at Arsenal, but again, you look at the performances against Newcastle, Fulham and QPR and the guys that have been in there have done exceptionally well."

  86. 1646

    Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero is delighted to have compatriot Carlos Tevez back at Manchester City for the Premier League run-in. "He has been one of the best forwards in world football over the last few years. City need all the players we have to try and win titles." Are you City fans happy to see Tevez back and what do you think the scoreline will be this evening? Send me your thoughts, razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me @RazMirza and I'll publish a many as I can.

  87. 1644

    City, two points clear at the top, can ill afford to slip up against a side who have spent all season at the opposite end of the table and whose off-field turmoil has been well documented. Victory would give City a five-point cushion before rivals Manchester United play at Norwich on Sunday.

  88. 1632

    If you'd like to air your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at razwan.mirza@bskyb.com or Tweet me @RazMirza and I'll publish a many as I can.

  89. 1630

    Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary from this afternoon's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Blackburn from the Ethiad Stadium.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 32 76
2 Arsenal 32 66
3 Manchester United 33 65
4 Manchester City 33 64
5 Liverpool 32 57
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 57
7 Southampton 33 56
8 Swansea City 33 47
9 Stoke City 33 46
10 West Ham United 33 43
11 Crystal Palace 33 42
12 Everton 33 41
13 West Bromwich Albion 33 36
14 Newcastle United 33 35
15 Aston Villa 33 32
16 Sunderland 32 29
17 Hull City 32 28
18 Leicester City 32 28
19 Queens Park Rangers 33 26
20 Burnley 33 26