- Match Analysis
Blackburn Rovers managed to gain a creditable 1-1 draw against in-form Premier League side Manchester City, thanks to a Scot Dann tap in, in the FA Cup 3rd round on a windy, overcast day at Ewood Park.
City came into the game on the back of a superb run in the Barclays Premier League, with the Citizens sitting 2nd in the table at the half way stage of proceedings in the Premier League, so a win was predicted for Pellegrini’s men.
But they faced a resilient Rovers side, buoyed by a terrific New Years Day victory at Leeds United, a win which sees the Rovers lie in 10th in the Championship, just two points outside the play offs.
Rovers started the Cup tie by taking the game to their Premier League counterparts, with Costal Pantilimon,who was replacing Joe Hart in goal, had to be at his best to deny Scott Dann’s towering header in the opening stages, as Rovers pressed, Tom Cairney also saw his shot saved by the big Romanian.
Rudy Gestede was proving to be a nusience in the Manchester City defece, as he won the corner, which almost lead to a Rovers goal, with Scott Dann again forcing Pantilimon into a decent save.
City were slowly getting into the game, as Edin Dzeko connected with James Milner’s teasing ball, but the Bosnian’s header was well saved by the returning Paul Robinson, in the Rovers goal.
Fernandinho also tested Robinson, with the former England keeper being forced into a routine save, as City pressed on the bobbly pitch of Ewood Park.
Jolean Lescott then header wide from a Milner corner as City looked to asset their Premiership quality, against an improving Rovers side.
Rudy Gestade sae his shot go just over the bar, as both sides looked to take the game to one another.
City, who were starting without the likes of Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany could have took the lead through Alvaro Negredo, who turned Dann and saw his shot go just wide.
After a spell of first have pressure, City took the lead, after the impressive David Silva whipped in a teasing corner, which was headed on by Edin Dzeko, which allowed the in-form Negredo to stab home at the far post, to give City a 1-0 lead at Ewood, in first half stoppage time.
As the second half began, City looked to kill the game off, as Dzeko saw his looping header saved, and Silva’s trickery, ended in a shot which went just wide of Robinson’s far post.
Up the other end, Tommy Spurr’s long throws were causing havoc in the City box, aided by the swirling wind in East Lancashire, Pantilimon pushed away a goal bound header, before Gestede headed wide for the hosts.
The pressure of Rovers soon paid off, after Pantilimon fumbled Gestede’s powerful header from a corner, allowing Scott Dann to take advantage and side foot into the corner, past Pantilimon, to bring the Championship side level, and leave the Romanian red faced.
Cairney almost profited from Pantilimon’s low confidence, with Cairney beating Nastasic , and firing at Pantilimon, who struggled to save on the wet turf.
City went all out attack to try and win the tie, as the substitute Toure broke away on a counter attack, before laying the ball of for Navas, who cut inside and curled a shot, destined for the far corner, but Paul Robinson managed to palm the ball around the post for a corner.
Robinson also had to keep Yaya Toure’s long dipping drive out, as the Sky Blues pressed for a winner late on.
Rovers substitutes DJ Campbell, and Jodan Rhodes linked up, ending with Rhodes firing over the bar, as Rovers hung on.
DJ Campbell could have given his side an historic win, but he headed wide from close range.
City had to sustain late pressure from the Championship outfit, but held on despite Dedryck Boyata seeing red, for a rash tackle.
By Ben Reardon