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Manchester City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers: Match Report
Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson kept Manchester City at bay and left Roberto Mancini's ambitious side having to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw at Eastlands.
- Manchester City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers: As it happened
Having retired from England duty Robinson is intent on doing his best for Rovers, and he showed Fabio Capello what he is missing after making a string of superb saves.
The only time he was beaten was in the 55th minute when Patrick Vieira equalised for City after Nikola Kalinic had opened the scoring.
That effort came following a mix-up between England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Kolo Toure. The irony would surely not have been lost on Robinson.
City almost made the breakthrough after two minutes with a flowing move. James Milner fed the ball out to Adam Johnson and he cut inside at pace before unleashing a shot that Robinson did well to block.
They maintained the momentum and Carlos Tevez released Shaun Wright-Phillips only for the midfielder to drill his effort wide.
Then Tevez tested Robinson and Johnson found the wrong side of the post after he was sent clear by Milner as he tried to curl the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
City kept up the pressure and Johnson floated in an inswinging corner in the 23rd minute but Vincent Kompany's effort was deflected to safety.
A minute later Blackburn went ahead after the mix up involving Joe Hart and Kolo Toure following a long ball from Morten Gamst Pedersen. Kalinic took advantage for a simple tap-in.
And they came close to extending their lead in the 30th minute when Michel Salgado chipped the ball into the path of Mame Biram Diouf.
The on-loan striker was slightly off balance and scuffed a shot wide from a good position.
Play switched back down the other end and Wright-Phillips rattled in a shot that Robinson was equal to.
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce was forced to make a change on the 40th minute with skipper Ryan Nelsen coming off.
He was in some discomfort following a challenge and replaced by Martin Olsson. He came on at full-back with Gael Givet switching to the middle to partner Chris Samba.
City launched a swift counter-attack in the 54th minute when Tevez sent Johnson clear. He thumped in a shot but Robinson stood tall to make the block.
A minute later they drew level after Vieira and Tevez played a neat one-two. Blackburn failed to pick up Vieira as he broke forward and it was a sweet finish by the former Inter Milan and Arsenal midfielder.
It was only Vieira's second goal for City after he arrived in the January transfer window - and a timely one at that.
Tevez then twice got into good positions in quick succession, only to see both shots from inside the area cleared to safety.
Blackburn were pinned back again and Robinson continued his good work by turning away a powerful shot from substitute Gareth Barry.
Jo then saw a shot blocked while Tevez failed to test Robinson from close range.
Blackburn were dangerous on the break and Kalinic forced a brave save from Hart inside the six yard area in the 80th minute.
Back came City and Robinson again to the rescue two minutes from time as he took the ball off Kolo Toure's toes.
Then Tevez saw his effort blocked by Givet in stoppage time and the rebound fell to Jo but his shot was blocked as Samba threw his body in the way.
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