When Joe Hart and Paul Robinson started this game their recent careers bared striking differences.
After a remarkable start to the season, Joe Hart has cemented his status as first choice keeper for both Club and Country. Paul Robinson, dropped as England keeper and not selected for the World Cup, recently rejected the chance to represent his Country again, instead opting to focus on his club career rather than playing second or even third fiddle to Hart.
After 90 minutes the difference in performance was just as striking. Praise would be all Robinson`s. The criticism, well it was Hart`s turn to endure the crushing feeling of a Goalkeeper making a costly blooper.
When a Goalkeeper makes a rash decision, a mistake, the consequence is instant and often painful. As the ball was lobbed casually down the pitch, City fans would have felt at ease. Toure looked comfortable in controlling Kalanic and all Hart had to do was stand and watch. However, a sudden rush of blood, a miss-calculation and a disastrous choice saw Hart rushing towards the swirling ball and after a mix-up with defender Kolo Toure, Kalanic was left with the easiest of chances to slot home. Despite all the chances created and squandered by the Blues after this error, it will be Joe Hart who feels isolated on his trip home.
In Contrast, Paul Robinson was exceptional, the ex England stopper produced countless splendid saves and was the difference between his side gaining one point and leaving Eastland`s empty handed.
Nearly all of City`s 11 men had chances to grab a much needed goal, but due to our own profligacy and defensive desperation Blackburn managed to cling onto the point. After two goals in two games for England, Adam Johnson again looked destined to find the net with his trademark twisting runs causing mass confusion. After excellent link-up play with another of England`s starts, James Milner, Johnson was freed and within the first 5 minutes produced a wonderful save from Robinson and saw another curling effort just skim the post.
In Spite of all City`s chances Blackburn held the lead until a 56th minute goal from surprise starter Vieira. After Tevez took control, his perfectly timed and weighted cross found the Frenchmen and from two yards out it was impossible to miss.
City`s pressure continued and when Gareth Barry was introduced the intensity grew. In the space of 10 minutes, Brazilian forward, Jo, could have scored three goals, either one would have been likely to kill the opposition, but his naivety and an outstanding lunge from Samba on the stroke of full time helped Blackburn earn a precious point.
Not a very memorable day after such a terrific start to the season. His error was disastrous, but every keeper goes through it. Made a good save in the second half.
Doesn’t know when to attack or defend. His positioning is woeful.
Could have dealt better with Blackburn’s goal but was put off by the on rushing Hart. Few shaky moments in the first half.
Pretty solid. Made some crucial interceptions.
Doesn’t have that speed and attacking ability that is needed for a top class full back. Got stuck in when he needed to and offered support down the left flank.
Very off the pace and was a passenger in midfield. Scored.
Gave the ball away far too often in good positions. His weakest performance yet.
Looked better when he went wide but struggled for the majority of the game.
Was punished for playing out of position. All SWP’s attributes are down to him being a right winger.
His dazzling runs and unbelievable skill created several scoring opportunities, but City couldn’t capatilise. Ridiculous that he got subbed.
Very close to motm with Johnson. He didn’t give up and created some great chances. Needed more support.
Missed some crucial chances that would have made the difference.
Changed the game for the better. Passing and positioning was key.
Needed more time. Looked bright when he came on and i really don’t understand why he isn’t having the game time.