Barclays Premier League

Man City extends league lead

2012-02-25 21:41
Manchester City players celebrate a goal (File)

Manchester - Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko scored the goals as Manchester City maintained their imperious home form to move five points clear of Manchester United with a 3-0 win over Blackburn.

City have now won their last 18 Premier League games at home, dating back more than a year, and equal Newcastle's record of starting a season by winning each of their 13 home matches.

Balotelli put Roberto Mancini's side in front with his ninth Premier League goal of the season with just under half an hour gone.

Aguero added a second with his 16th - and 21st in all competitions - just after half-time.

Dzeko came off the bench to head a third as City coasted to a comfortable victory that moves them five points ahead of United, who have an away game at Norwich on Sunday.

The result left Blackburn firmly rooted in the relegation zone, where only two points separate the bottom five.

Balotelli was making his first Premier League start since the goalless draw at West Brom in December following a four-match ban.

But he took just a minute to cause Blackburn problems, latching on to an Adam Johnson cross and forcing an impressive low save from Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Rovers went into the game having lost just half of their 12 away matches and soon produced a threat of their own when a Morten Gamst Pedersen free-kick fell for Grant Hanley and his close-range effort deflected wide off Joleon Lescott.

The visitors were pinned back deep into their own half and were grateful to goalkeeper Robinson for keeping them in the game.

When Aguero swung a pass over to right flank, Johnson burst forward and had a long-range strike pushed away by the former England goalkeeper and Robinson also got a hand to the Pablo Zabaleta cross that followed.

As City continued to probe, Balotelli had a bending free-kick pushed away by the Rovers goalkeeper.

But just before the half hour Balotelli made the breakthrough in some style.

Making his first Premier League appearance since returning from African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast, Yaya Toure started a counter-attack with a clever pass to David Silva.

The Spaniard clipped the ball left for Aleksander Kolarov, who whipped in a cross that gave Balotelli an easy tap in at the near post.

The Italy striker displayed a "Raffaella ti amo (Raffaella I Love You)" t-shirt, aimed at girlfriend Raffaella Fico as he celebrated his opening effort.

City continued to press for a second goal, and Robinson had to be at his best to deny Silva, who was played through by another intelligent pass from Kolarov.

Robinson pulled off another fine stop from a Vincent Kompany flick from Kolarov's corner before Toure failed to divert the rebound on target.

Argentina forward Aguero also failed to take two opportunities just before the break, lifting well over the bar and also missing from a narrow angle.

The pattern continued after the break, with Johnson having a low effort deflected wide of goal.

But from the Silva corner that followed, Robinson flailed at the ball and Aguero stabbed in City's second.

Even Zabaleta was attempting to score and the Argentina defender saw his effort fly sideways straight into Aguero and wide of goal.

As Blackburn attempted some sort of response, Canadian winger Junior Hoilett broke forward and shot only to see his effort bounce away off Yakubu.

Balotelli had a header deflected off-target by Bradley Orr but City seemed satisfied with their margin of victory.

With just under 10 minutes left, Dzeko beat two Blackburn defenders to thump Kolarov's cross past Robinson.

Yakubu finally forced a save from Joe Hart deep in injury time but it was a comfortable outing for the leaders.

Read more on:    epl

Banyana too good for Kenya

2015-08-02 18:25


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @00:00
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

08 August 2015
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 13:45
Norwich City v Crystal Palace, Carrow Road 16:00
Everton v Watford, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Sunderland, King Power Stadium 16:00
Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Swansea City, Stamford Bridge 18:30
09 August 2015
Arsenal v West Ham United, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Newcastle United v Southampton, St. James' Park 14:30
Stoke City v Liverpool, Britannia Stadium 17:00
10 August 2015
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 21:00
Team P W PTS

With the season all but done, are you happy with your side's performance?

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.