City supply perfect riposte to Tevez trauma

Blackburn 0 Manchester City 4

Mario Balotelli grabbed his chance wipe out the memory of Manchester City's Munich misery as Roberto Mancini's men eased to victory at ailing Blackburn.

Balotelli drilled home City's second just before the hour and ran the home defence ragged in what was City's perfect riposte to the midweek controversy involving Carlos Tevez.

Adam Johnson's wonder-goal and late strikes from Samir Nasri and Stefan Savic wrapped up City's second half master-class leading furious Rovers fans to chant for the dismissal of boss Steve Kean.

Despite accepting Edin Dzeko's apology for his outburst at being substituted in midweek, Mancini had dropped the Bosnian to the bench and opted to give Balotelli his chance.

It was an inspired decision with Balotelli looking by far the liveliest of City's attacking options, particularly when Sergio Aguero limped off injured on the half-hour.

Rovers had started solidly enough but it quickly became apparent they would have to guard against City's speed and sharpness, with Chris Samba cutting out a dangerous Vincent Kompany cross.

The visitors had their first real chance in the 10th minute when David Silva cut into the box from the left and his cross was parried by Paul Robinson into the path of Balotelli, who blazed over.

Rovers responded two minutes later with a swinging cross from Morten Gamst Pedersen on the left, which was aimed for the head of Samba before being cut out by Joleon Lescott.

Junior Hoilett's pace troubled the City rearguard in the 16th minute as he scampered over the half-way line and sent Yakubu on the left, but he was denied by a fine challenge by Milner.

For all their neat possession, Mancini's men were struggling to unduly threaten the Rovers defence, with Silva guilty of spooning a 25th minute half-chance high over the bar.

City's striking options, already diminished by the suspension of Tevez, were further hit when Aguero limped off with an apparent groin strain.

Nasri came on to replace Aguero, and his first act was to screw a low shot towards the Rovers goal which was deflected out for a corner by David Goodwillie.

City's inability to find the cutting final ball surfaced again in the 35th minute when a fine move involving Milner and Nasri petered out when Samba beat Balotelli to a clearance in the box.

Balotelli stepped up his game towards the end of the first half, flashing a curling 37th minute effort wide then zipping in front of Samba to shoot into the side-netting.

City looked sharper at the start of the second half, with Silva shooting across the face of goal moments after the restart, then Balotelli driving a right-foot shot against the post.

City finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute when Johnson picked up a half-cleared Kolarov corner on the edge of the box and swung a superb left-foot shot into the top corner.

And City extended their lead three minutes later when Balotelli got the goal his performance deserved, stealing in front of Steven Nzonzi to prod home a cross from the left by Nasri.

Nasri swept home City's third in the 74th minute after good work from Silva in the box, sparking a furious reaction from sections of the home fans who chanted for Kean's dismissal.

Substitute Mauro Formica forced the first real save out of Joe Hart with 15 minutes left on the clock then Yakubu blazed high over the bar but it was all in vain.

City scored their fourth three minutes from time when Nasri sent in a corner from the left and substitute Stefan Savic bundled the ball home through a crowded box.

PA

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
and  

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

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate