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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Feb 12 at 19:26 PM

Report: Man City 3 Rovers 0

Rovers slipped back into the bottom three after a 3-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

After Paul Robinson had kept the home side at bay with a string of saves, Mario Balotelli opened the scoring on 30 minutes, but then the Rovers number one blotted his copybook minutes into the second half when he failed to hold a cross which Sergio Aguero converted.

Rovers struggled to create anything of note, penalty claims after Morten Gamst Pedersen was brought down in the area waved away, whilst the Norwegian saw a shot from the edge of the box deflected wide.

City's third came as the match drew to a close, substitute Edin Dzeko heading home from close-range from Kolarov's centre.

Rovers are back in action at Ewood Park next weekend with Aston Villa the visitors.

Ahead of the game Rovers were forced into making two changes from the side that had defeated Queens Park Rangers last time out.

A suspension for Jason Lowe and a week-long illness for Steven Nzonzi meant Marcus Olsson was given his Rovers' debut on the left, whilst Radosav Petrovic returned to the centre of midfield. Nzonzi was however able to make the bench.

The home side were straight on the attack from the off, but unlike their match against Porto in midweek they were unable to grab an early goal. Rovers thankful for Paul Robinson's stupendous save to deny Mario Balotelli, the Rovers captain showing great reactions to dive to his left to save after just two minutes.

That set the tone for the opening twenty minutes, City pressing and probing, Rovers defending resolutely.

Paul Robinson was kept busy, dealing well with Adam Johnson's shot before pushing aside a Balotelli free-kick that had skimmed the wall.

But all of Rovers' hard work was undone on the half hour when they were caught on a swift counterattack. Yakubu was robbed in possession by Yaya Toure the shifted quickly from David Silva to Aleksandar Kolarov who crossed for Mario Balotelli to sweep home.

Rovers looked to hit back immediately and had strong penalty claims waved away. Marcus Olsson gave chase to a ball in the area before it came back to Morten Gamst Pedersen, he looked to take it on in the box but was challenged by Nigel de Jong. The Dutchman looked to have got the ball with his left leg but then took Pedersen with his right, but referee Mike Jones was unmoved.

City ended the half as they had started, Robinson denied Silva with his legs before Toure couldn't direct a rebound after the Rovers' 'keeper had saved from Vincent Kompany's flick.

First half added time brought two further City chances, Rovers grateful that Toure and Sergio Aguero were just wide of target.

Any chance of an early response from Rovers at the start of the second half was quickly undone when City grabbed a fortunate second.

A 52nd minute corner kick from David Silva saw Paul Robinson fail to hold the ball and Sergio Aguero took full advantage as it dropped invitingly, firing home on the half volley.

It was tough on the Rovers captain as he had been the stand out performer up to that point.

With twenty minutes to go Steve Kean made a double change. Steven Nzonzi, who had been struggling with a throat infection all week, was brought on to replace Radosav Petrovic, whilst Ruben Rochina replaced Mauro Formica.

A minute later the home side made a change of their own as Adam Johnson was replaced by David Pizarro.

Great defending by Bradley Orr prevented Mario Balotelli from heading home a third goal, but Grant Hanley wasn't as fortunate on 81 minutes when from a Kolarov centre Edin Dzeko, on for just two minutes as Balotelli's replacement, rose above the young Scot to power the ball past Robinson.

At the other end Joe Hart had been untroubled all afternoon, not even a strike from Morten Gamst Pedersen bothered the England man, the ball deflecting fortunately off Vincent Kompany and wide of goal.

Yakubu had worked hard up front throughout without reward, he did test Hart late on with a shot on the turn but it was well saved.

The result saw Rovers go back into the bottom three, bringing greater significance to next weekend's home match against Aston Villa.

MAN CITY: Hart, Kompany (c), Lescott, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Y Toure (sub Milner 86 mins), de Jong, Silva, Johnson (sub Pizarro 71 mins), Aguero, Balotelli (sub Dzeko 79 mins).

Subs not used: Pantilimon (GK), Richards, Clichy, Nasri.

ROVERS: Robinson (c), Orr, Dann, Hanley, Martin Olsson, Hoilett, Petrovic (sub Nzonzi 70 mins), Pedersen, Marcus Olsson, Formica (sub Rochina 70 mins), Yakubu.

Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Modeste, Goodwillie, Vukcevic, Henley.

Booked: Hanley, Orr (Rovers).

Attendance: 46,782

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