Full-time - 90'
3 - 0
17:30 +00:00, February 25, 2012
Referee: Michael Jones
FULL TIME A comprehensive and comfortable win for Manchester City. Roberto Mancini's team are five-points clear of Manchester United, while Blackburn remain in the bottom three.
Blackburn's first shot on target of the evening! Yakubu curling an effort from the edge of the box which Joe Hart gathers.
THREE MINUTES ADDED TIME
City wasted another opportunity. Blackburn sloppy in possession again, Silva pushing forward before delaying his shot too long and only finding Robinson.
Kolarov with a chance to get the goal his performance deserves, but his shot is high and wide after Aguero's through ball.
Kompany with another front-post flick, this time into the side-netting.
James Milner on for Yaya Toure
Another City corner earned by the rampaging Kolarov. Toure is down for City again, but hops to his feet.
A needlessly flashy back-heeled pass from Ruben Rochina runs through to Joe Hart.
The scoreline is now beginning to reflect City's domination of this game.
GOAL Dzeko with an immediate impact! What a wonderful cross from Kolarov, inviting Dzeko to power a downward header past a helpless Robinson. Great play from the league leaders.
A rare effort from Blackburn, Pedersen's volley goes wide off Vincent Kompany.
Edin Dzeko on for Mario Balotelli
Hanley heads clear and Kolarov commits a foul on the edge of the penalty area.
He's back on his feet and the corner can now be taken...
The Italian is down after clashing wih Orr. I'm not sure how he has hurt himself.
Corner to City, Orr getting in the way of Balotelli's header on goal.
Can Blackburn grab a goal to make the last 15 minutes uncomfortable for City? The nuetral would hope so, but all the evidence on the pitch suggests they won't.
A clever chip from Balotelli to try and set Aguero away, but Rovers are alert to the danger.
Free-kick, Bradley Orr climbing over the back of Balotelli.
City will not have collected an easier three points than this all season. Zero ambition from Blackburn.
A chance for City fans to get another look at the midfielder who made a goalscoring debut against Porto in midweek.
David Pizarro on for Adam Johnson
Ruben Rochina and Steven Nzonzi on for Radosav Petrovic and Mauro Formica
Silva and Johnson attempt a short corner, but it back fires when the former is caught offside.
Steven Nzonzi is coming on for Blackburn. I'm not sure how that is going to change things, but at least Steve Kean is trying.
The cross is flicked away by Blackburn for a City throw-in.
Free kick to City, Balotelli shoved by Hoilett.
Steve Kean is cutting a forlorn figure on the Blackburn bench. It's looking very bleak now.
Both players are back on their feet and it looks like a potentially huge crisis for City has been avoided.
And now Aguero is down after a hefty collision with Pedersen. Things have taken a nasty turn for City.
Yaya Toure looks in trouble after stretching to try and cross. An injury to the Ivorian would dampen Roberto Mancini's mood.
Like everything else Blackburn have done today, the corner offers no threat to the Man City goal.
Determined work from Yakubu to earn a corner off Joleon Lescott...
Looking on the Blackburn bench, there is very little in the way of attacking options.
Kolarov involved again, lofting a ball forward which runs straight through to Robinson.
Kolarov has been playing as a second left winger in this half, again his comes forward but his pass is just behind Silva.
GOAL Aguero makes it 2-0! A terrible, terrible error from Robinson. Under no pressure he fumbles the corner, and Aguero gladly hammers the ball into the empty net. Game over? Probably.
Bradley Orr's protests earn him a yellow card.
Balotelli clutching his ankle at the moment, it doesn't look too serious.
Another City corner, Adam Johnson's shot deflected behind...
Good work from Aguero to find his way to the byline, his clipped cross is just too high for Balotelli.
Kolarov successful in his attempts to get into the box this time, passing to Balotelli who twists and turns but can't get his shot off.
The match has slipped back into the same pattern with City comfortably in possession.
Kolarov straight on the front foot, seeing his run into the penalty area checked.
The teams are out for the second half. What can Blackburn do to turn this around?
City are just 45 minutes away from opening up a five-point lead over Manchester United, who travel to Norwich tomorrow.
Blackburn are yet to register an attempt on goal, with just one corner to show for their efforts so far.
Blackburn's bench offers little hope for their fans, especially when compared to the riches City have in reserve.
Blackburn have offered little. Rovers' only hope is that City become complacent and let them back in the game.
HALF TIME Balotelli is back with a bang and Man City go in 1-0 up at the break. City's dominance has been total and Blackburn are lucky to only be one goal down.
A defensive lapse from Scott Dann allows Aguero to latch onto a looping ball. From a tight angle he guides his shot just wide.
Toure with two attempts in a matter of seconds. First, Kolarov lashed a volley across goal which Toure couldn't direct goalwards. Balotelli collected and set-up Toure to fire wide.
TWO MINUTES ADDED TIME
City enjoying plenty of time on the ball in midfield, with Blackburn happy to let them have it.
The corner fulls for Aguero to volley, but the Argentine hoofs his effort miles over the bar.
Olsson heads behind to give City a corner...
Diligent defending from Hoilett to stop David Silva getting into the penalty area.
A rare error from Silva, who mishits his cross from the byline.
Balotelli pulling out to the left flank and trying to cut inside, but his progress is halted by the recovered Petrovic.
Blackburn clinging on a bit at the moment. Can they make it to half-time?
Yaya Toure should have made it 2-0. Robinson with a great save after Kompany's acrobatic flick. The ball falls to Toure, who prods his shot wide with the goal gaping.
The corner is over hit, but City get a second chance...
Blackburn need to show more ambition if they are to get anything from this game. Aguero earns a corner for City...
David Silva's influence in the game is growing. The Spaniard with a mazy run and one-two with Kolarov before forcing Robinson into a smart stop.
Blackburn appeal for a penalty, but their claims are waved away. De Jong bringing down Pedersen, but he did get the ball.
GOAL Mario Balotelli opens the scoring! Man City on the break, Silva feeding Kolarov who provides a perfect low cross for Balotelli to confidently convert at the near post.
Petrovic is down holding his shoulder after a challenge from Aguero. This looks serious.
Blackburn are really under the cosh at the minute, can they survive until half time?
Robinson with another save, but once again Zabaleta collects. Again, his cross is headed clear.
Junior Hoilett concedes a free-kick on the edge of the area...
City go close, Johnson cutting inside and firing a shot at Robinson. He spills the shot, Zabaleta cuts the ball back into the danger area but no City player can collect.
becomes the first man into the book.
The free kick breaks for Zabaleta, his teasing cross is agonisingly above Balotelli's head.
Petrovic shoves Silva, free-kick.
Yakubu with an awful pass back towards his own goal which Aguero gathers. He finds Balotelli, whose curling shot is blocked.
Aguero is trying to make things happen for City, but his runs are not quite enough to create chances at the moment.
After a shaky start, Blackburn seem to have settled into their task. City are still bossing possession, though.
More neat play from Aguero and Adam Johnson, the former's cross is headed away at the near post.
The initial cross is headed away, but De Jong's hook back in finds Toure who struggles to control the ball.
Adam Johnson with a poor cross, but Hanley, under no pressure, heads behind for another City corner.
Blackburn clear their lines, again De Jong stifles the attempted counter-attack.
Balotelli tripped by Petrovic, City free kick near the corner flag...
A terrible, terrible shot from Yaya Toure which spirals out for a Blackburn throw.
City seeing an awful lot of possession, Blackburn struggling to get the ball.
Blackburn clear and Nigel de Jong chases back to tackle Martin Olsson as he looks to break.
City free kick, David Silva tugged back.
Adam Johnson has seen a lot of the ball early on, but he wasted an opportunity there. Pablo Zabaleta had made an excellent over-lapping run, but Johnson held onto possession for too long and hit his pass out of play.
Kolarov does well to head Pedersen's cross clear.
Grant Hanley earns a corner, his half-volley deflected behind.
A free-kick for Blackburn, their first chance...
An air-shot from Olsson give Man City a throw-in, not a strong start from Blackburn.
A really positive start from City, with Sergio Aguero attempting to burst through the centre of the Blackburn defence. He is eventually stopped.
Mario Balotelli almost makes a stunning return! Excellent play from Adam Johnson, who cuts back for Balotelli. The Italian's first-time shot is brilliantly saved by Paul Robinson.
The teams are out at the Etihad Stadium, can Blackburn cause a shock? They can climb out of the relegation zone with a win.
Can Blackburn repeat the heroics of their last trip to Manchester and that impressive 3-2 win at Old Trafford?
All the talk has been of returning strikers ahead of this game and Roberto Mancini does indeed recall Mario Balotelli.
Blackburn team: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson Pedersen, Petrovic, Hoilett, Formica, Marcus Olsson, Yakubu.
Man City team: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov, de Jong, Yaya Toure, Johnson, Balotelli, Silva, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Clichy, Milner, Nasri, Pizarro, Dzeko.
ESPNsoccernet will bring you live commentary of Blackburn's trip to Manchester City, which kicks off at 17.30 GMT.
Nigel De Jong
Morten Gamst Pedersen