Sergio Aguero marked his return with a goal within 50 seconds of coming on as a second-half substitute as Manchester City progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with yet another rampant home victory, this time a 5-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko both grabbed a brace as City reached goal number 99 for the season.
City finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time after a frustrating opening 45 minutes when Negredo met Fernandinho's delightful cross with a powerful header to give Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson no chance.
That goal sparked Manuel Pellegrini’s side into life and they cruised to a cool four goals in the second-half.
City doubled their advantage on 47 minutes when Negredo latched onto substitute Aleksander Kolarov’s inch perfect pass to slide past Simon Eastwood in Blackburn’s goal whose first touch after replacing the injured Robinson was to pick the ball out of his net.
Things went from bad to worse for Eastwood and Blackburn on 68 minutes when Dzeko put his name on the score-sheet, firing into the roof of the net with a delicious curled effort.
On 73 minutes and after less than a minute on the field, Aguero made it four, turning with his back from goal to slide the ball into the corner of the net.
And just six minutes later Dzeko completed the scoring, tapping home a dangerous cross from Jesus Navas.
City will now host another Championship side in the form of Watford in the next stage of the cup on the weekend of January 25/26.
45’ - GOAL - City finally have the lead! Negredo times his run perfectly to attack Fernandinho's cross and launches a terrific header past Robinson.
47’ - GOAL - 2-0 City. And that should be that. Kolarov delivers an inch perfect pass to Negredo who coolly puts the ball past Eastwood whose first touch of the ball is to gather out of his net.
67’ - GOAL - It's DzekoNavas finds the forward in the penalty area who still has so much to do but with wonderful technique, fires the ball past Eastwood with tremendous power.
73’ - GOAL - 4-0 City. That didn't take long. Aguero scores with his first touch of the ball, with a neat and tidy finish in the box. It's only taken him 49 seconds.
79’ - GOAL - 5-0 City. Dzeko grabs a cool brace as he taps in a powerful cross from Navas! City are rampant once more.
Manchester City have now scored 99 goals this season.
Alvaro Negredo has now scored 16 goals in his last 12 appearances at the Etihad Stadium.
This was the eighth meeting between the pair in the FA Cup with Manchester City winning four times and Blackburn twice.
Is the quadruple really possible? Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini suggested his side will target winning four trophies this season and in current form, you could be forgiven for not betting against it. They have hit an incredible 99 goals so far this season and it looks as though they will be hard to stop. City have won their last six league games, are guaranteed a place in the Capital One Cup final, have a two-legged clash with Barcelona to look forward to in the Champions League and they are hot on the heels of leaders Arsenal in the Premier League.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City) – The Spanish striker was in deadly form tonight and broke the deadlock on the stroke of a frustrating first-half for City. He grabbed another quick goal at the beginning of the second-half and prised open the flood gates for the home side. His touch was phenomenal, his finishing deadly and with two goal hungry team-mates in Dzeko and Aguero, City are frightening in attack.
MAN CITY: Pantilimon 6, Richards 7, Nastasic 7, Lescott 6, Clichy 6, Navas 8, Garcia 7, Milner 8, Fernandinho 7, Dzeko 9, Negredo 9. Subs: Kolarov 8, Aguero 8, Huws 6.
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Robinson 7, Henley 5, Hanley 5, Kilgallon 5, Spurr 6, Cairney 6, Lowe 5, Williamson 5, Taylo 5r, Marshall 6, Campbell 6. Subs: Eastwood 5, King 6, Mahoney 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester City
- Blackburn Rovers
- Sergio Aguero
- Alvaro Negredo
- Edin Dzeko
- Simon Eastwood