Date: 3rd May 2009 at 4:03am
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Defensive errors allowed Felipe Caicedo, Robinho and Elano to put City three goals up before the half-time whistle.

Blackburn pulled one back in the second-half courtesy of Keith Andrews, but the damage had already been done and Rovers never looked like getting back into the game.

The win keeps Manchester City’s bid for seventh place and qualification for the Europa League alive.

Blackburn started the game brightly and Big Sam looked to have got the better of Mark Hughes after his defensive strategy nullified City’s potent strike force in the early stages of the game.

Just as it appeared that Blackburn were in control, Ecuadorian international and Manchester City powerhouse Filipe Caicedo’s 27th minute goal put City ahead as Big Sam’s defensive strategy crumbled.

Elano’s beautifully flighted corner was half-cleared by Andre Ooijer who could only find Vincent Kompany, the Belgian playing Nedum Onuoha through on goal.

Onuoha’s shot was deflected into the path of Caicedo who scuffed his finish past Paul Robinson from close range to claim his first Premier League goal since Boxing Day and a subsequent yellow card for his shirtless celebrations.

Just seven minutes after scoring the first, Blackburn failed to clear the danger from another Elano corner. This time it was Diouf who was the culprit, giving the ball back to the Brazilian to whip in for a second time.

Elano managed to find Kompany, this time the Belgian laying the ball off for an unmarked Robinho who curled the ball in at far post with a sublime first-time shot for his third goal in three games and his 14th league goal of the season.

Blackburn could have halved the deficit before half-time but wasted two opportunities, with Ooijer shooting well wide of the post before South African international Benni McCarthy powered a header just inches over.

After two defensive blunders, City claimed their third goal in first-half stoppage time as yet another mistake cost Blackburn.

The goal came against the run of play as Robinho burst down the left flank to release Stephen Ireland who tried to play the Brazilian back in.

Ireland’s back-heel hit Givet’s outstretched arm right in front of referee Mike Riley and he had no hesitation as he awarded City the penalty, three Blackburn players earning themselves yellow cards for ther protestations.

The spot-kick was never in doubt as Elano made it a hattrick for the South Americans as he sent Robinson the wrong way and retained his 100% penalty record.

Half-time: Manchester City 3 Blackburn Rovers 0

Blackburn started the second-half as they had the first, a lot of possession although very little endeavour going forward.

Fortunately for Blackburn, it was City’s turn for defensive errors and Blackburn found a way back into the game with a penalty, Onuoha felling Morten Gamst Pedersen in the box.

Shay Given made a fantastic save against Diouf’s penalty before reacting quickly to save Diouf’s follow up shot.

There was little the Irishman could do as the ball fell to Keith Andrews to poke the ball home with his first touch of the game after coming on as a substitute. It was an unfortunate goal to conceed after such good work by the City keeper and Given was less than pleased.

After Blackburn’s lifeline goal, they failed to threaten again and the game faded out as the clock ticked on.

Mark Hughes gave Valeri Bojinov and Martin Petrov some much needed match time but neither could make any impression on the game as it wound on to 90 minutes.

A valuable win for Manchester City as they recorded their first home Premier League win over Blackburn since 1993.

Full-time: Manchester City 3 Blackburn Rovers 1


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