Date: 28th December 2008 at 6:44pm
Written by:

Mark Hughes kept the same team as Friday when they demolished Hull City. The impressive Caicedo kept his place up-top as Mark Hughes looked to cement his old team to the bottom of the league.

Teams in Full:
Rovers:

Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Warnock, Nelsen, Emerton, Gamst Pedersen, Tugay, Andrews, McCarthy, Roberts.

Subs: Brown (GK), Derbyshire, Khizanishvili, Vogel, Mokoena, Treacy, Olsson.

City:

Hart, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Dunne, Ball, Kompany, Ireland, Elano, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Caicedo.

Subs: Schmeichel (GK), Richards, Garrido, Fernandes, Vassell, Jo, Sturridge
The game started very nicely for both teams. Within two minutes City had a corner which was swung in from the right, and met the head of Kompany which fell straight to Caicedo but on the stretch the bulky forward could only balloon the ball over.

Blackburn Rovers then had their first threat on the fifth minute. A tackle that should have seen Dunne sent off produced a very good free-kick in an important area. Emerton stood up and struck the free-kick but it hit Irelands hand and trickled back to Hart.

The referee then had another penalty claim to turn down when Robinho was taken down in the box by Ooijer. It was a blatant penalty and another example of how incompetent Ref`s are these days.

Robinho then should have scored. A fine move from City saw Elano, who fed Caicedo down the left, and he raced clear before producing a world-class cross which dropped onto the head of Robinho, but he somehow managed to miss. It`s obvious where paying £32 million for his feet not his head.

Both Sides where then playing some good stuff without really penetrating either penalty box until the 25th minute. Richard Dunne had to block Robert`s show after he out muscled his way past both Onuoha and the Irishman.
Tugay was then booked following a sliding tackle that managed to completely take out Robinho. I mean old age and all that, but you`re never going to get the ball by going through the players legs.

The next ten minute didn`t produce anything really; both teams were failing to now keep hold of the ball until approaching stoppage time, Blackburn scored.

The ball was played through to Roberts who flicked the ball through Dunne`s leg and found its way to McCarthy who stroked the ball past Hart.

Halftime: Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester City 0

The second half started the better for Blackburn. Both Ooijer and Emerton found themselves in good positions but failed to trouble Hart. Manchester City then managed to lift themselves in the space of 30 seconds. Shaun Wright-Phillips hit the post with a misplaced header and then Robinho set up Ireland who curled the ball past the post. Close but not close enough.

The Irishman then picked up a yellow card that`s shows yet again just hot useless these refs`s are. His yellow card mean`s he will miss the game against Portsmouth. Onuoha then picked up an injury and was replaced by Richards, as the game hit a little bit of nothingness. Mark Hughes on the 71st minute took off Elano and Caicedo and brought on Vassell and Sturridge.

Micah Richards then went close after a couple of consecutive corners. Another initially pushing a Blackburn player, Richards turned on the ball and fired across the goal, but nobody gambled and it was looking as though it was Not City`s day.

Things got even worse for City. Manchester City looked uneasy from free-kicks and it was proven when from a long free-kick Samba flicked the ball on to Roberts whose header floated into the top left of the goal. 2-0 game over surely?

I thought so anyway, but what surely seemed like a consolation arrived with 2 minutes to go. Robinho flicked the ball to no-one in the box, but the Blackburn defence failed to clear and Sturridge fired the ball home with an excellent volley. 2-1!

4 minutes where announced as extra time and Blackburn looked set to find every corner and waste every possible second they could. However Manchester City had one last attack which they had to make count.

Danny Sturridge found the ball on the right, flicked the ball inwards avoiding several tackles before playing a world class ball across the pitch and to the feet of Robinho who literally effortlessly rolled the ball past Robinson. Fantastic stuff.

Full Time: Blackburn Rovers 2 Manchester City 2

Aaron`s Conclusion:

How on earth can we look so good at home and fail to produce the performance away from Manchester. I thought after the first 5 minutes we were going to play with the same performance as against Hull, But as the game went on, you could see what was going to happen. After we conceded the second, that was it for me, game over, but I think we have found our new superman in Sturridge. Credit to Hughes who brought him on to save the day, but we should never have been two goals down in the first place. I`m sorry but Dunne looked off the pace today and maybe we should invest in a goalkeeper because I`m feeling less confident about Joe Hart. Caicedo did not perform as well as he could have but he does look like a good prospect. Elano failed to find his range today, as did Ireland who looked more like Standard-man than Superman.

Player Ratings

Hart
Distribution was terrible and generally looked nervous. Did not even move for the first goal? I mean i used to play in goal and in them situations, you guess! 6/10

Zabaleta
Solid, and was our best defender today. 7/10

Dunne
lost the ball too many times again today and panicked in many situations. He did however make some crucial interceptions, but he always looks clumsy. 6/10

Onuoha
It takes a person to realise how much you miss Richards. He played ok but constantly got outplayed by Roberts, and in all respect, Roberts is not the best striker in the world. 6/10

Ball
This must be a position Hughes is looking to add quality to. He looked ok but nothing special. 6/10

Wright-Phillips
I dont think i ever saw the lad run at anyone really, and when he did he lost the ball. 6/10

Elano
He looks good in patches. 6/10

Ireland
He played some good balls, but generally not as effective as he was against Hull. 6/10

Kompany
Mopped up the situations well. I’m still very impressed with him. 8/10

Robinho
A good player can score goals even when they are not playing at their best, and today Robinho proved that. 7/10

Caicedo
I want this lad to do well, and he played ok. Should have done better with his big chance today, but he’s still young and can only improve. 6/10

Richards
Solid and played well. 6/10

Vassell
Did he come on? Never really got involved. 5/10
Take a bow son. Pure class from a young englishman. 8/10

 

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