Manchester City 5 Blackburn Rovers 0 match report: Alvaro Negredo sparks another goal rush for City in FA Cup replay as Sergio Aguero makes scoring return

Quadruple still on for hosts as they brush aside Rovers with second half onslaught


The quadruple is still on. In truth, it was never off, despite the laboured start to the night. When Alvaro Negredo takes to this pitch his presence comes with a guarantee. For all but the last attack of the opening half Manchester City were a team lost in sparring, an approximation to the threshing machine they have become at the Etihad.

That is until Negredo hit the turbo button. A header at the close of the first half and a stabbed second two minutes into the second took his tally at the Etihad to 16 this season, chalked up in all of a dozen matches.

Blackburn Rovers had done a half decent job of frustrating City, and in Tom Cairney had a player in the middle of the park who stood comparison with those in blue, but once the red wall had been breached it was always going to be a numbers game.

Edin Dzeko flashed in a third in the 67th minute, turning in a cross from Jesus Navas at the near post. On the touchline Sergio Aguero warmed up, a cruelty the Championship side did not deserve. It was Negredo who made way for the Argentine predator with 18 minutes to go. Aguero was unusually slow to make an impact, allowing just 50 seconds to pass before swivelling in the box and planting his 20th goal of the season past Simon Eastwood, on at half time for Paul Robinson.

It was not over yet. Dzeko helped himself to a second, a carbon copy of the first, to take City to 99 goals in all competitions this season. Much more of this and City risk being taken to the Competition Commission.


At the back end of the last century, in another football world, Blackburn Rovers briefly occupied the City slot, bankrolled by a steel magnate and dominating the agenda. Jack Walker's millions would barely settle the tip on a night out with the oil barons fuelling City's identity shift today. Week by week, goal rush by goal rush, City are acquiring their own mystique and with it power.

The City messaging had been doing its work all week in the hearts and minds of Blackburn. For their manager, Gary Bowyer, this was an opportunity for his players to breathe the same air as giants, to associate with a species of footballer from another dimension. Whatever it is City do, it is beyond the common experience at Ewood Park, so the legend goes, something to be savoured, an honour to share.

They were probably disappointed at the absence of City's premier creative hub, Yaya Touré, David Silva and Samir Nasri, denied the chance to tell their grandchildren what it was like to be flayed at the Etihad by the best in the land. Never mind Aguero, Negredo and Navas would have to do.

The Blackburn players had an extra 10 minutes to take in the riches courtesy of a delayed kick-off to accommodate the last days of Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street. There is no end to the pulling power of that fiction in this parish. Hayley is still with us, but for how long?

As they made their way to the changing rooms the Blackburn players wore the same wide-eyed expressions as the schoolkids on a tour of the Etihad media suite. Outside a band played in City Square. My, how far the sheikhdom has come from the Kippax.

The Blackburn fans shared none of the deference displayed by their team. "Where were you when you were shit?" they inquired of the Etihad citizenry. City's second string, eight changes from the win at Newcastle, made us wait two minutes for a crack at goal, a header from Dzeko. Mind you, Blackburn did not touch the ball in all that time.

Dzeko went close again in the 10th minute cracking a venomous right-footer over the bar. Blackburn sat deep, City pinged the ball left and right, their authority uncontested. Milner, captain for the night, even indulged in a stepover in one break down the left.

City were momentarily discomfited in the 17th minute when Richards slid in to concede a corner. Nothing came of the novelty and City quietly resumed control of the ball. The only element missing was urgency, too many floated crosses from the wings serving only to keep Robinson warm in the Blackburn goal.

Manuel Pellegrini rushed to the technical area to wave his team forward and was rewarded with a piledriver from Javi Garcia that Robinson could only palm away, fortunately for Blackburn to a red shirt.

As the half drew to a close the scoreboard revealed a possession rate of 74 per cent in City's favour. That was nil comfort to an audience that has witnessed half a century of goals already this season.

Help was at hand in the shape of Negredo, who met a cross from Fernandinho in the manner of a mallet hitting a tent peg, cracking the ball hard and low into the back of the Blackburn net with his head on the stroke of half-time.

Man of the match Negredo.

Match rating 7/10.

Referee C Pawson (S Yorks).

Attendance 35,000.

Revised FA Cup fourth-round draw

Friday 24 January

Arsenal v Coventry (7.45pm)

Nottingham Forest v Preston (8pm)

Sat 25 January (3pm unless stated)

Bournemouth v Liverpool (12.45pm)

Birmingham v Swansea

Bolton v Cardiff

Huddersfield v Charlton/Oxford

Manchester City v Watford

Port Vale v Brighton

Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday

Southampton v Yeovil

Southend v Hull

Sunderland v Kidderminster Wigan v Crystal Palace

Stevenage v Everton (5.30pm)

Sunday 26 January

Sheffield United v Fulham (1pm)

Chelsea v Stoke (3.30pm)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food