Manchester City 1 Blackburn 1

Barclay’s English Premiership
Saturday 11 September 2010, 15.00 KO

City: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany, K Touré, Vieira (Barry 67), Y Touré, A Johnson (Silva 85), Milner, Wright-Phillips (Jo 57), Tevez (c)
Unused: Given, Zabaleta, Boyata, Santa Cruz
Goals: Vieira (56)
Booked: Vieira, Milner

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Man of the Match: Adam Johnson

After a pair of strong England performances in the international break, with City’s players making up the backbone of the squad, the City fans were hoping for a dominant performance and a big victory to bounce back from the disappointment at the Stadium of Light.

In the opening stages, both wingers Johnson and Wright-Phillips had efforts on goal, with the former forcing Robinson into a save and the latter’s shot skimming just wide.

The City fans weren’t happy with the referee soon after, as he booked Vieira for a cynical pull back, but decided to ignore two late challenges from El Hadji Diouf.

With 14 minutes gone, Adam Johnson came close to giving City the lead after one of his trademark runs from the right. He cut inside onto his left foot and curled it towards the back post, but it was just wide as Robinson scrambled across.

Kompany went close from a corner on 22 minutes, but, from the resulting corner, City were hit on the break. A long ball out of defence and a mix-up between Joe Hart and Kolo Touré, left Kalinic with an open goal. Hart, leaving his box to clear the ball, was beaten by a low bounce and Touré was left to chase, but Kalinic was never going to miss.

Mame Biram Diouf went close to doubling the away side’s lead soon after, from a long throw by Pedersen, before Wright-Phillips forced his former England team-mate, Robinson, into a save with a left footed shot on the turn.

After a series of City corners came to nothing, the home side were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position on the left wing. Milner put a decent ball into the box, but it was headed clear before Kompany could get the touch.

The second half started slowly, with City struggling to hold on to possession and Blackburn happy to sit on their lead. But, ten minutes into the half, City were level. Vieira knocked the ball wide to Tevez and broke into the box, finding himself in a perfect position to tap home as it was crossed low and hard.

Ten minutes later, Tevez picked up a loose ball and ran towards the Blackburn goal. His shot took a flick off Christopher Samba and beat Robinson, but it hit the foot of the post and went behind for a corner.

A minute later and Tevez had another go from inside the Blackburn box, but it was deflected wide again, before Jo had an air shot from a corner. Shortly after, Barry, on for the goalscorer Vieira, was found in the middle by Johnson and his shot had to be turned around the post by Robinson.

With just under 15 minutes to go, Tevez did well to hold the ball up in the midfield and then find the break of Jo through the middle. The Brazilian ran the ball into the box and took the shot, but it was deflected wide for another City corner.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Hart needed to be alert to deny Kalinic as he broke into the box, before he was out off his line quickly to steal a bouncing through ball aimed for Pedersen.

With eight minutes left on the clock, City were denied a clear penalty for a foul on Adam Johnson in the box, after the winger had beaten several Blackburn defenders cutting inside from the left.

Another City corner came to nothing with four minutes left, as Silva’s shot was nudged wide, before Micah Richards did well to stop a Blackburn attack with his head.

With a minute to go before added time, Kolo Touré broke from defence and found Tevez, before continuing his run. Tevez held the ball and found the centre-back in the box, but Robinson was out quickly and claimed the ball.

As the game entered stoppage time, City could have won the game. Tevez went through and got to a Barry cross before Robinson, but his effort was blocked on the line. He picked up the loose ball, rounded Robinson again and squared for Jo, but the Brazilian’s shot was blocked over the bar by Samba.

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