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Sunday, 15 September, 2002, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Man City peg back Rovers
Shaun Goater (right) and Eyal Berkovic celebrate City's equaliser
Goater (right) and Berkovic celebrate City's second
Manchester City 2-2 Blackburn

Ten-man Manchester City pulled back a two-goal deficit against Blackburn to extend their unbeaten record to 21 league games at Maine Road.

City looked out for the count when they went behind to goals from David Thompson and Andy Cole, who opened his account for the season.

They also had Danny Tiatto red-carded after 68 minutes, with the Australian substitute spending just six minutes on the pitch.

  Key incidents
26 mins: Thompson fires Blackburn ahead
54: Blackburn's Cole scores his first for the season
80: Anelka pulls one back for City
90: Goater levels for City

But City, protecting an unbeaten home run that stretches back to September 2001, responded in an exciting finale with goals from Nicolas Anelka and substitute Shaun Goater.

Blackburn have conceded six goals in their last three games and Graeme Souness will be disappointed at the way his team capitulated late on in a game they controlled for the majority.

The visitors gained the upper hand from the start and their industry had City rattled as the home side were afforded very little space and time on the ball.

City tried to work their way into the game but Blackburn were unwilling to release their stanglehold.

But Blackburn would have been disappointed not to have taken the lead within the first 20 minutes.

Yorke, looking short of match fitness, and defender Henning Berg should have done better with efforts on goal.

Danny Tiatto is shown the red card for a challenge on David Thompson
Tiatto's red card was a turning point

City's Eyal Berkovic failed to make the visitors pay for their misses in a chance at the other end before Blackburn finally made their superiority count.

The home side's Marc-Vivien Foe gifted Thompson possession and he fired a low shot into the right corner of keeper Peter Schmeichel's goal.

City came into the game a little more during the latter stages of the opening half but only looked like scoring from sporadic moves.

Striker Chris Shuker - making his first City start - did not connect properly with an 18-yard shot, Anelka's powerful 30-yard effort went high and a Berkovic drive flew the same way.

The energetic Shuker tried to lob Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel after the interval but got too much power on his effort.

Blackburn made City and Shuker regret that miss when Keegan's side again gave away possession in their last third.

This time it was Cole who took advantage as he powered a shot between former Old Trafford team-mate Schmeichel's legs.

In a fiery finale to the game, Tiatto was red-carded for a challnge on Thompson while Yorke and Berg might have extended Blackburn's lead.

Those misses proved costly as Anelka, fed by a Berkovic pass, and Goater pulled City level.


Man City: Schmeichel, Jihai, Bischoff (Tiatto 61), Distin, Wright-Phillips, Berkovic, Foe, Benarbia, Jensen, Anelka, Shuker (Goater 61). Subs Not Used: Nash, Ritchie, Horlock.

Sent Off: Tiatto (68).

Booked: Foe, Wright-Phillips, Berkovic.

Blackburn: Friedel, Taylor, Short, Berg, Neill, Gillespie (Mahon 78), Flitcroft, Dunn, Thompson (Tugay 86), Cole (Grabbi 56), Yorke. Subs Not Used: Kelly, Johansson.

Booked: Neill, Gillespie, Grabbi.

Att: 34,130

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Steve Wilson
"Blackburn will be furious"
Rovers' boss Graeme Souness
"I'm really, really upset with my players"
Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"Danny Tiatto's attitude was shocking"
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