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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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."
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