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Published : 15 Aug 2009 18:52:20
Mark Hughes may have spent millions on attacking talent this summer, but it was Manchester City's miserliness that impressed Phil Thompson most at Ewood Park. Emmanuel Adebayor marked his debut with a fine third-minute strike, Carlos Tevez came off the bench and Gareth Barry also caught the eye in the 2-0 win over Blackburn. But it was £14million Kolo Toure, captain Richard Dunne and keeper Shay Given who were the real stars of the show as the Premier League's richest club kept a clean sheet to silence those who believe Hughes has over-loaded his squad with strikers. City only managed six shut-outs in the Premier League last season and for Thompson, that was more important than Adebayor opening his account or Tevez getting some valuable game-time. "It was a good game because they had to withstand a lot of pressure - and that is what will make Mark Hughes more than happy," he told Soccer Saturday. "Blackburn did very well, but Manchester City got to grips with them. I think Hughes probably had a word at half-time, told them to be better in possession because they were giving it away too much. "What I was impressed with was this was a tough game. Blackburn did very, very well in the first half and probably had the best of the chances." Dunne's and Toure's heroics, coupled with some smart stops from Given and decent displays from Wayne Bridge and Micah Richards came at the end of a week in which City have still been trying to snatch Joleon Lescott from Everton. Toffees' boss David Moyes branded their approaches as 'disgusting and disruptive' and vowed to keep hold of the player - but on this evidence, Thompson was left wondering if the England defender is even needed at Eastlands. "Where would Lescott fit into this, though?" he said. "Because Richard Dunne and Kolo Toure were absolutely fantastic. "When they needed to, they defended well; the long throws were coming in from (Morten Gamst) Pedersen, but they were dominating and defending. And it was a tough game against (Jaso) Roberts and (Benni) McCarthy. "I think he's had a plan to get these strikers in and then looked at it and identified Toure, identified Lescott to give them that bit of stability. "So maybe he sees Lescott coming in to give them that bit of strength, but Micah Richards was back to his best at right-back and Wayne Bridge also did well." ShirkedThe attacking signings Hughes has made though, were also under the spotlight. Thompson described Barry as "excellent" and hailed Adebayor's debut goal, drilled past Paul Robinson from the edge of the box after a return pass from Shaun Wright-Phillips, as "very, very good". Tevez was brought off the bench to replace Robinho on 69 minutes before Stephen Ireland added a last-minute second and even that, showed that at this early stage, City's moneybags revolution can work. "He's not shirked the issue, Mark Hughes, which is what I find very good," said Thompson. "No matter which way you look at it, it was a big call, a big decision even taking Robinho off to put Tevez on, but he did it. It's not about egos or anything and he made the right call."