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Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Saturday, 15 August 2009 16:56 UK

Blackburn   0 - 2   Man City

By Ian Hughes

Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor made a very quick impact on his Manchester City debut

Emmanuel Adebayor struck after only three minutes of his debut to help Manchester City make a winning start to the new Premier League season.

The £25m summer signing lashed in an 18-yard drive to open his City account.

Chris Samba's header was superbly saved by Shay Given, who also denied Benni McCarthy as Rovers responded well.

After the break Given kept out Jason Roberts's header and Robinho's shot was saved by Paul Robinson, before Stephen Ireland slotted in to seal the points.

After City's summer spending spree that brought in five players at a cost of almost £100m, the pressure was on for them to deliver on the pitch from the first whistle.

And that was virtually what they did as Adebayor wasted no time in continuing his great run of form against Rovers that had seen him score eight times against them for his former team Arsenal.

Allardyce laments 'harsh result'

The Togo striker played the ball out wide to Shaun Wright-Phillips and when the winger cut back inside and rolled the ball square invitingly, Adebayor was there to drill home his shot that Robinson could only help into the net.

With Rovers clearly stunned, and their pre-match promise to kick lumps out of their opponents now needing a readjustment, City enjoyed a dominant 10-minute spell.

But once the dust had settled, Rovers hit back and began to run the midfield as Gareth Barry - another City debutant - struggled to cope as the only holding midfielder.

606: DEBATE
Partington Blue

And soon it became clear that for all City's potential in attack - such apparent strength in depth that Carlos Tevez was only on the bench - their problems at the back had not been solved.

Kolo Toure, City's third new boy in their starting line-up, and his central defensive partner Richard Dunne looked less than comfortable under a number of diagonal high balls.

Rovers debutant Steven N'Zonzi had a shot hacked away and Roberts lifted a volley over the bar from 12 yards after Blackburn worked a chance via a bout of head tennis.

Frailties in City's backline were again in evidence when Given and Dunne, and then Given and Toure, just about got away with mix-ups.

Rovers, though, could not take their chances. McCarthy struck a free-kick straight at Given and Samba's header was also kept out by the keeper.

'Fighting spirit' pleases Hughes

Another well-worked move ended in McCarthy firing straight at Given as big-spending City found themselves firmly on the back foot.

The previously anonymous Robinho then announced his presence on the pitch when his drive from 18 yards was tipped over by Robinson.

Back came Rovers and when Keith Andrews' volley hit Dunne's arm there were loud shouts for a penalty but the referee waved them away.

A spell of driving rain after the break made conditions difficult and neither side could establish any rhythm or keep possession.

In fairness to City, they had also tightened up at the back and were no longer affording Rovers as much space to work in.

Oops - Hughes' early season slip-up

But one lapse of concentration almost cost the visitors when an unmarked Roberts headed through a crowd of players and it took another fine stop from Given to keep his side in front.

Shortly after, the enigmatic Robinho almost sealed it for City but his shot was brilliantly diverted by Robinson, who dived low to his right.

It was the last contribution by the Brazilian forward as he made way for Tevez to make his debut.

The Argentine, who joined for £25m in the summer, almost copied his strike partner Adebayor by notching on his debut but once again Robinson was equal to a testing shot.

Before that, Ireland ballooned over after great work by Bellamy who had launched a rapid counter attack.

And McCarthy fizzed over a 20-yard free-kick as Rovers desperately tried to salvage something from the game.

But late on, Ireland broke clear and bided his time before coolly converting at the far post to ensure City started the season - and their new era - with three points and an away victory that is already half the total they managed last season.


Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:
"I think it was very harsh," he said. "Our failing today was in the poor quality of our finishing.

"But their goalkeeper Shay Given also made one brilliant save after another and that kept them in the game.

"We should have gone in at half-time in front. In the second half we couldn't quite manage to achieve the same tempo. It is very disappointing."

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes:
"Many people might have been looking to see if we were going to fall flat on our face today and I thought we gave a great response.

"You saw great character from City today. If we continue to play with the character we showed today then we will keep progressing.

"We stood up to the challenge and we showed the qualities we will need."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackburn 0-2 Man City FT
(HT 0-1)
    • Adebayor 3
    • Ireland 90+1

    Blackburn

    Substitutes

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Ref: DeanAtt: 29,584
    BLACKBURN
    MAN CITY

    Possession

    • Blackburn 46%
    • Man City 54%

    Attempts on target

    • Blackburn 9
    • Man City 5

    Attempts off target

    • Blackburn 8
    • Man City 3

    Corners

    • Blackburn 5
    • Man City 4

    Fouls

    • Blackburn 12
    • Man City 9
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:13 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+2:23 Craig Bellamy challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, Shay Given makes a save.
    • 90:00+0:53 The assist for the goal came from Shaun Wright-Phillips.
    • 90:00+0:53 GOAL - Stephen IrelandBlackburn 0 - 2 Man City Stephen Ireland fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-2 Man City.
    • 89:36 Wayne Bridge restarts play with the free kick.
    • 89:36 Booking Paul Gallagher shown a yellow card.
    • 89:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Paul Gallagher.
    • 86:01 Christopher Samba has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 85:06 Substitution David Hoilett comes on in place of El-Hadji Diouf.
    • 85:06 A cross is delivered by Shaun Wright-Phillips, Shot by Craig Bellamy from outside the box goes over the net.
    • 83:07 Shaun Wright-Phillips restarts play with the free kick.
    • 83:07 Booking Stephen Warnock receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
    • 82:02 Unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Stephen Warnock results in a free kick.
    • 80:42 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
    • 78:25 Benedict McCarthy produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 78:25 Booking Micah Richards booked.
    • 78:19 Micah Richards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen.
    • 77:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Paul Gallagher. Richard Dunne restarts play with the free kick.
    • 75:56 Steven Nzonzi concedes a free kick for a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
    • 75:36 Franco Di Santo crosses the ball.
    • 74:19 Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.
    • 74:19 Substitution Paul Gallagher joins the action as a substitute, replacing Keith Andrews.
    • 74:19 Benedict McCarthy is flagged offside by the assistant referee.
    • 72:26 Shaun Wright-Phillips delivers the ball.
    • 71:35 Stephen Ireland has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 71:02 Inswinging corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Emmanuel Adebayor.
    • 67:44 Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, Emmanuel Adebayor makes a clearance.
    • 67:44 Substitution Carlos Tevez is brought on as a substitute for De Souza Robinho.
    • 67:44 Gareth Barry challenges Lars Jacobsen unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 66:45 Substitution Carlos Tevez comes on in place of Craig Bellamy.
    • 64:37 Substitution Jason Roberts leaves the field to be replaced by Franco Di Santo.
    • 64:28 Keith Andrews produces a cross.
    • 62:33 The ball is crossed by Craig Bellamy, Christopher Samba gets a block in. Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line to the near post, Paul Robinson makes a save.
    • 61:40 De Souza Robinho takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Craig Bellamy takes the inswinging corner, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
    • 60:07 The ball is swung over by Craig Bellamy, Stephen Warnock makes a clearance.
    • 58:50 Jason Roberts takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given. Corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf played to the near post, Stephen Ireland manages to make a clearance.
    • 58:29 El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
    • 55:44 The ball is swung over by Gareth Barry, clearance by Gael Givet.
    • 51:25 The referee blows for offside against Benedict McCarthy. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
    • 51:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Roberts on Gareth Barry. Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.
    • 50:40 El-Hadji Diouf concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Bridge. Free kick taken by Wayne Bridge.
    • 48:03 Wayne Bridge produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 47:35 El-Hadji Diouf delivers the ball, clearance by Richard Dunne.
    • 46:35 Micah Richards concedes a free kick for a foul on Benedict McCarthy. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 46:02 Lars Jacobsen delivers the ball, save by Shay Given.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:53 The ref blows to end the first period.
    • 43:50 Keith Andrews takes a shot. Blocked by Micah Richards.
    • 43:19 Benedict McCarthy takes a shot. Clearance made by Richard Dunne.
    • 40:35 Keith Andrews concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Barry. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gareth Barry.
    • 39:40 The ball is swung over by Craig Bellamy, clearance by Gael Givet. Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Keith Andrews.
    • 38:12 Kolo Toure challenges Benedict McCarthy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • 37:26 De Souza Robinho takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson. Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line to the near post, Steven Nzonzi makes a clearance.
    • 36:53 Shot by Jason Roberts from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
    • 36:34 Benedict McCarthy takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.
    • 35:39 Jason Roberts concedes a free kick for a foul on Richard Dunne. Direct free kick taken by Shay Given.
    • 35:34 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
    • 35:27 The ball is swung over by El-Hadji Diouf, Kolo Toure makes a clearance.
    • 34:38 Morten Gamst Pedersen concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Barry. Free kick taken by Shay Given.
    • 33:57 Foul by Micah Richards on Stephen Warnock, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:15 Jason Roberts is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Wayne Bridge restarts play with the free kick.
    • 31:52 Benedict McCarthy produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.
    • 29:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jason Roberts by Gareth Barry. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • 29:20 The ball is sent over by Wayne Bridge.
    • 27:32 Corner taken right-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen to the near post, save by Shay Given.
    • 27:18 Benedict McCarthy takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Dunne.
    • 26:41 Corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf, Christopher Samba takes a shot. Shay Given makes a save.
    • 26:29 Centre by Benedict McCarthy, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
    • 24:44 Shaun Wright-Phillips concedes a free kick for a foul on Morten Gamst Pedersen. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Benedict McCarthy, save by Shay Given.
    • 23:33 The referee penalises De Souza Robinho for handball. El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Emmanuel Adebayor makes a clearance.
    • 21:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Benedict McCarthy on Gareth Barry. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Ireland.
    • 20:08 Gareth Barry is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 18:58 The offside flag is raised against Craig Bellamy. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
    • 18:20 Jason Roberts produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 18:12 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
    • 16:29 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Kolo Toure gets a block in.
    • 15:40 Craig Bellamy is caught offside. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 14:56 Centre by El-Hadji Diouf, Micah Richards makes a clearance.
    • 13:26 Lars Jacobsen crosses the ball, Benedict McCarthy has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
    • 12:15 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Dunne by Jason Roberts. Shay Given takes the free kick.
    • 11:33 Craig Bellamy is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 8:48 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen played to the near post, save by Shay Given.
    • 8:30 Jason Roberts takes a shot. Kolo Toure gets a block in.
    • 5:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Dunne on Benedict McCarthy. Strike on goal comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick.
    • 3:52 Foul by Christopher Samba on Richard Dunne, free kick awarded. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.
    • 2:29 Assist by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
    • 2:29 GOAL - Emmanuel AdebayorBlackburn 0 - 1 Man City Emmanuel Adebayor finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Blackburn 0-1 Man City.
    • 2:01 El-Hadji Diouf produces a cross, Benedict McCarthy takes a shot. Clearance made by Micah Richards.
    • 0:00 The match begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League results

    15 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Aston Villa 0-2 Wigan R
    Blackburn 0-2 Man City R
    Bolton 0-1 Sunderland R
    Chelsea 2-1 Hull R
    Everton 1-6 Arsenal R
    Portsmouth 0-1 Fulham R
    Stoke 2-0 Burnley R
    Wolverhampton 0-2 West Ham R

    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 15 Aug 2009 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Arsenal 1 5 3
    2 Man City 1 2 3
    3 Stoke 1 2 3
    4 West Ham 1 2 3
    5 Wigan 1 2 3
    6 Chelsea 1 1 3
    7 Fulham 1 1 3
    8 Sunderland 1 1 3
    9 Birmingham 0 0 0
    10 Liverpool 0 0 0
    11 Man Utd 0 0 0
    12 Tottenham 0 0 0
    13 Hull 1 -1 0
    14 Bolton 1 -1 0
    15 Portsmouth 1 -1 0
    16 Aston Villa 1 -2 0
    17 Blackburn 1 -2 0
    18 Burnley 1 -2 0
    19 Wolverhampton 1 -2 0
    20 Everton 1 -5 0

    see also
    Hughes defends chase for Lescott
    16 Aug 09 |  Man City
    Saturday football as it happened
    15 Aug 09 |  Football
    Premier League photos
    15 Aug 09 |  Premier League


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