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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 January, 2004, 16:56 GMT
Man City 1-1 Blackburn
Macken and Anelka
Garry Flitcroft salvaged a point for Blackburn against his former club with an equaliser at Manchester City.

Flitcroft, who started his career at City, struck from six yards to cancel out Nicolas Anelka's opener just minutes earlier.

Anelka had given the home team the lead with a sweetly-struck 25-yard free-kick which livened up a low-key affair.

Antoine Sibierski hit the post for City while home keeper David James was virtually a spectator on his debut.

The match got underway after the retiring ex-England keeper David Seaman bid farewell to the City crowd.

Seaman strode out onto the pitch in between City's players lined up on one side and the Blackburn side on the other.

The former Arsenal keeper was given a generous ovation from the City of Manchester crowd before the action got underway.

The opening exchanges were dominated in midfield before City started to come out on top.

50 mins: Anelka scores for City
55mins: Flitcroft levels for Blackburn

Trevor Sinclair had the first genuine chance only to slice a shot wide as he tried to find the far post.

Blackburn had little to offer and City were in control without having to extend themselves.

Sibierski hit the post for City with a shot before defender Richard Dunne might have put the home side ahead.

Dunne was left unmarked at a Michel Tarnat corner and his downward header bounced and was on its way into goal before keeper Friedel parried the ball over.

There was a tense atmosphere around the game with both sides hovering dangerously above the relegation zone.

But Anelka briefly lifted the tension for City with a powerful free-kick and his 17th goal of the season.

City's celebrations and relief had barely died down when Blackburn equalised with their first real chance.

City were feeling aggreived at a failed penalty appeal when Anelka was challenged by Gresko and Flitcroft only increased their misery.

The midfielder fired in to score against his former club to beat debutant David James in the City goal.

City went top after beating Blackburn earlier in the season but have failed to win a league game since 1 November.

And midfielder Joey Barton saw a shot blocked as he tried to change that statistic.

But both struggling teams seemed to scared to commit to going for the win and had to settle for as point.

Man City: James, Jihai, Dunne, Distin, Sinclair (Tiatto 77), Sibierski, Bosvelt, Barton, Tarnat, Anelka, Macken (Wright-Phillips 70).
Subs not used: Stuhr-Ellegaard, McManaman, Sommeil.
Booked: Bosvelt, Jihai.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Babbel, Johansson, Gresko, Emerton, Flitcroft, Tugay, Douglas, Yorke, Cole.
Subs not used: Enckelman, Danns, Martin Taylor, Mahon, Jansen.
Booked: Flitcroft.

Attendance: 47,090.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"No-one could argue that they deserved to win this one"

Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"We didn't cause them enough problems in the second half"

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