Premier League

February 25, 2012

Full-time

Man City

3 - 0

Blackburn

Premier League

17:30 +00:00, February 25, 2012

Etihad Stadium

Referee: Michael Jones

  • 93'

    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.

  • 91'

    Blackburn's first shot on target of the evening! Yakubu curling an effort from the edge of the box which Joe Hart gathers.

  • 90'

    THREE MINUTES ADDED TIME

  • 89'

    City wasted another opportunity. Blackburn sloppy in possession again, Silva pushing forward before delaying his shot too long and only finding Robinson.

  • 88'

    Kolarov with a chance to get the goal his performance deserves, but his shot is high and wide after Aguero's through ball.

  • 86'

    Kompany with another front-post flick, this time into the side-netting.

  • 85'

    James Milner on for Yaya Toure

  • 84'

    Another City corner earned by the rampaging Kolarov. Toure is down for City again, but hops to his feet.

  • 83'

    A needlessly flashy back-heeled pass from Ruben Rochina runs through to Joe Hart.

  • 81'

    The scoreline is now beginning to reflect City's domination of this game.

  • 79'

    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.

  • 78'

    A rare effort from Blackburn, Pedersen's volley goes wide off Vincent Kompany.

  • 78'

    Edin Dzeko on for Mario Balotelli

  • 77'

    Hanley heads clear and Kolarov commits a foul on the edge of the penalty area.

  • 77'

    He's back on his feet and the corner can now be taken...

  • 76'

    The Italian is down after clashing wih Orr. I'm not sure how he has hurt himself.

  • 75'

    Corner to City, Orr getting in the way of Balotelli's header on goal.

  • 74'

    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.

  • 73'

    A clever chip from Balotelli to try and set Aguero away, but Rovers are alert to the danger.

  • 72'

    Free-kick, Bradley Orr climbing over the back of Balotelli.

  • 71'

    City will not have collected an easier three points than this all season. Zero ambition from Blackburn.

  • 70'

    A chance for City fans to get another look at the midfielder who made a goalscoring debut against Porto in midweek.

  • 69'

    David Pizarro on for Adam Johnson

  • 68'

    Ruben Rochina and Steven Nzonzi on for Radosav Petrovic and Mauro Formica

  • 66'

    Silva and Johnson attempt a short corner, but it back fires when the former is caught offside.

  • 65'

    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.

  • 64'

    The cross is flicked away by Blackburn for a City throw-in.

  • 63'

    Free kick to City, Balotelli shoved by Hoilett.

  • 62'

    Steve Kean is cutting a forlorn figure on the Blackburn bench. It's looking very bleak now.

  • 60'

    Both players are back on their feet and it looks like a potentially huge crisis for City has been avoided.

  • 59'

    And now Aguero is down after a hefty collision with Pedersen. Things have taken a nasty turn for City.

  • 58'

    Yaya Toure looks in trouble after stretching to try and cross. An injury to the Ivorian would dampen Roberto Mancini's mood.

  • 57'

    Like everything else Blackburn have done today, the corner offers no threat to the Man City goal.

  • 56'

    Determined work from Yakubu to earn a corner off Joleon Lescott...

  • 55'

    Looking on the Blackburn bench, there is very little in the way of attacking options.

  • 54'

    Kolarov involved again, lofting a ball forward which runs straight through to Robinson.

  • 53'

    Kolarov has been playing as a second left winger in this half, again his comes forward but his pass is just behind Silva.

  • 51'

    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.

  • 51'

    Bradley Orr's protests earn him a yellow card.

  • 51'

    Balotelli clutching his ankle at the moment, it doesn't look too serious.

  • 50'

    Another City corner, Adam Johnson's shot deflected behind...

  • 49'

    Good work from Aguero to find his way to the byline, his clipped cross is just too high for Balotelli.

  • 48'

    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.

  • 47'

    The match has slipped back into the same pattern with City comfortably in possession.

  • 46'

    Kolarov straight on the front foot, seeing his run into the penalty area checked.

  • 45'

    SECOND HALF

  • 45'

    The teams are out for the second half. What can Blackburn do to turn this around?

  • 45'

    City are just 45 minutes away from opening up a five-point lead over Manchester United, who travel to Norwich tomorrow.

  • 45'

    Blackburn are yet to register an attempt on goal, with just one corner to show for their efforts so far.

  • 45'

    Blackburn's bench offers little hope for their fans, especially when compared to the riches City have in reserve.

  • 45'

    Blackburn have offered little. Rovers' only hope is that City become complacent and let them back in the game.

  • 45'

    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.

  • 45'

    A defensive lapse from Scott Dann allows Aguero to latch onto a looping ball. From a tight angle he guides his shot just wide.

  • 45'

    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.

  • 45'

    TWO MINUTES ADDED TIME

  • 44'

    City enjoying plenty of time on the ball in midfield, with Blackburn happy to let them have it.

  • 43'

    The corner fulls for Aguero to volley, but the Argentine hoofs his effort miles over the bar.

  • 42'

    Olsson heads behind to give City a corner...

  • 41'

    Diligent defending from Hoilett to stop David Silva getting into the penalty area.

  • 40'

    A rare error from Silva, who mishits his cross from the byline.

  • 39'

    Balotelli pulling out to the left flank and trying to cut inside, but his progress is halted by the recovered Petrovic.

  • 37'

    Blackburn clinging on a bit at the moment. Can they make it to half-time?

  • 36'

    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.

  • 35'

    The corner is over hit, but City get a second chance...

  • 34'

    Blackburn need to show more ambition if they are to get anything from this game. Aguero earns a corner for City...

  • 33'

    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.

  • 30'

    Blackburn appeal for a penalty, but their claims are waved away. De Jong bringing down Pedersen, but he did get the ball.

  • 29'

    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.

  • 27'

    Petrovic is down holding his shoulder after a challenge from Aguero. This looks serious.

  • 26'

    Blackburn are really under the cosh at the minute, can they survive until half time?

  • 25'

    Robinson with another save, but once again Zabaleta collects. Again, his cross is headed clear.

  • 24'

    Junior Hoilett concedes a free-kick on the edge of the area...

  • 23'

    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.

  • 22'

    becomes the first man into the book.

  • 21'

    The free kick breaks for Zabaleta, his teasing cross is agonisingly above Balotelli's head.

  • 20'

    Petrovic shoves Silva, free-kick.

  • 19'

    Yakubu with an awful pass back towards his own goal which Aguero gathers. He finds Balotelli, whose curling shot is blocked.

  • 17'

    Aguero is trying to make things happen for City, but his runs are not quite enough to create chances at the moment.

  • 16'

    After a shaky start, Blackburn seem to have settled into their task. City are still bossing possession, though.

  • 15'

    More neat play from Aguero and Adam Johnson, the former's cross is headed away at the near post.

  • 14'

    The initial cross is headed away, but De Jong's hook back in finds Toure who struggles to control the ball.

  • 13'

    Adam Johnson with a poor cross, but Hanley, under no pressure, heads behind for another City corner.

  • 12'

    Blackburn clear their lines, again De Jong stifles the attempted counter-attack.

  • 11'

    Balotelli tripped by Petrovic, City free kick near the corner flag...

  • 10'

    A terrible, terrible shot from Yaya Toure which spirals out for a Blackburn throw.

  • 9'

    City seeing an awful lot of possession, Blackburn struggling to get the ball.

  • 8'

    Blackburn clear and Nigel de Jong chases back to tackle Martin Olsson as he looks to break.

  • 7'

    City free kick, David Silva tugged back.

  • 6'

    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.

  • 5'

    Kolarov does well to head Pedersen's cross clear.

  • 4'

    Grant Hanley earns a corner, his half-volley deflected behind.

  • 4'

    A free-kick for Blackburn, their first chance...

  • 3'

    An air-shot from Olsson give Man City a throw-in, not a strong start from Blackburn.

  • 2'

    A really positive start from City, with Sergio Aguero attempting to burst through the centre of the Blackburn defence. He is eventually stopped.

  • 1'

    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.

  •  

    KICK OFF

  •  

    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.