Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City 2009/10

blackburn away 2009 to 10 prog


Barclays Premier League

15th August 2009

attendance 29,584

Adebayor(3), Ireland(90)

Ref Mike Dean

 City Given, Richards, Toure, Dunne, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Adebayor, Bellamy – subs Tevez(68), Taylor(unused), Zabaleta(unused), Onuoha(unused), De Jong(unused), Petrov(unused), Weiss(unused)

Blackburn Robinson, Jacobsen, Warnock, Samba, Givet, Roberts (Di Santo 64), McCarthy, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Andrews, Diouf – subs Di Santo(64), Hoilett(85), Gallagher(74) Brown(unused), Grella(unused), Khizanishvili(unused), Olsson(unused)

blackburn away 2009 to 10 adebayor goal2


blackburn away 2009 to 10 adebayor goal

The glory will come later, but the great goals are already on the way. What a start for this new look Manchester City side focused on a top four finish after spending more than £100 million this summer. Emmanuel Adebayor’s third minute strike was stunning in it’s execution, Stephen Ireland’s simply for its sheer cheek. Adebayor is the moody match winner hitting a mean streak in City’s colours with a top class finish. This is what the money men at City have brought to the club, a master in the art of all out attack.
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 They bought a team to qualify for the Champions League and score goals of world class quality. Adebayor’s was the mark of a £25M footballer, a player with the potential to be at the peak of his power. City’s second, impudently flicked beyond keeper Paul Robinson in injury time was equally impressive. Ireland, the club’s player of the year’ was hard at work in the engine room, throughout a combative figure right in the firing line. He pulls the strings in City’s midfield, full of running and full of energy in this streamlined side. Ireland oils the wheels, yet Adebayor is the man in perpetual motion. He brought a new dimension to this City side, stroking the ball beyond Robinson from the edge of the area to score on his debut. That is what £25M buys these Premier League pretenders, the difference between the two sides on the opening day of the season. He put in the kind of shift that will have Arsenal’s supporters taking a trip down memory lane, looking longingly at this Togolese totem pole. Adebayor was a towering influence turning in a top class display on his first start for the club. He has shrugged off Champions League football with Arsenal to chase the dream with this aspiring City team. They can bring the best out of him again, laying the ball into his path and letting him do the rest. He brought this game to life after three minutes, flicking the switch when he took the ball off Robinho’s toes. Adebayor’s speed of thought was electrifying,
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 twisting in the centre of midfield and sweetly curving a bowling ball into the path of Shaun Wright-Phillips. The City winger was on his way, bounding down the wing, taking a touch and then finding Adebayor arriving on the edge of the area. that was the incentive, taking his team mate’s pass in his stride and lashing the ball beyond Robinson. Adebayor loves it here, with memories of his hat-trick for Arsenal in a 4-0 win last year flooding back after his fabulous start. Mobbed by his team mates, the supporters were baying for more, they can get used to this, admiring his free spirit as he fires up City’s Champions League ambitions. He has scored nine in his last seven games against Robinson, a remarkable return for this formidable forward. Adebayor was immense, just as Ireland underpinned their victory with another impressive
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 performance in the centre of midfield. City had to work hard for this, chasing lost causes against a Blackburn team bristling with enthuisiasm. Ireland was the man, making the midfield work for their victory alongside Gareth Barry and Wright-Phillips. He snapped at the ankles of Keith Andrews and Steven Nzonzi, a pit bull terrier in the thick of the action. Ireland has the bite and Adebayor has the bark, showing no sign of fear in this fast flowing side. He overshadowed Barry, setting the tone for with a series of thunderous challenges in the middle. Barry took time to settle rarely straying from his berth but losing possession too many times with his first touch. There is no soft underside to this City team, mixing it with the the bruising figures of Christopher Samba, Jason Roberts, and El-Hadji Diouf whenever they were on the ball. They showed no fear, leaving the fancy touches to Robinho and feeding the ball to adebayor whenever they won back possession. The system a fluid 4-3-3, suits their game, hurrying past the opposition as they aim to out score their rivals every week. Occasionally they threatened to let go of their grip on the game but Shay Given was the safe hands behind their defence. Everytime they wriggled through, the former Rovers keeper was there to deny them.He was at his best in the first half, he had to be, as Rovers searched for an equaliser. They might have deserved it, with Samba, Roberts and Diouf all testing City’s highly regarded keeper. Given matched them, saving City with neat saves, cleanly caught or tipped around the post to safety. He will need a ring of steel around him in the coming weeks, when games come thick and fast and the opposition improve. Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal will not be quite as charitable in the months ahead. They will pinpoint their obvious weak spot at right back, where Micah Richards faded after an impressive start. Richards was there for the taking, frequently caught out of position whenever Rovers were on the counter attack. Instead, City were held together by Kolo Toure, the calming influence at the heart of the defence. He was comfortably their most assured player at the back, mopping up whenever Rovers’ attacks gathered momentum. Toure’s presence is another comfort blanket, with the experience of two Premier League titles and Champions League final in the locker.
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Along with Adebayor he will miss those European nights at arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, when 60,000 supporters would descend on North London. Instead they have traded their life at the top for a crack at the top clubs, eager to impress their new manager on unfamiliar territory. In time their experience will rub off on their team mates but Robinho still has the potential to misbehave. This exceptional talent was reduced to a spectator for most of the game, a bundle of Brazilian ability brooding on the touchline. He started on the left, switched to the right after the break and finally sacrificed on 69 minutes. It was an agonising walk down the gang plank, pausing briefly to take the acclaim of City’s triumphant supporters on the way. They stood as one for his replacement. Reaching out to touch the talismatic figure of Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian showed the occasional flicker that will add something to City’s forward line when he is fully fit. This is the good life, playing for a team where he will be one of the first picks after his controversial move from United. That will come later but City  are already setting the pace after this impressive start. They scored the second in injury time when Ireland latched on to Wright-Phillips clever pass inside the penalty area. Gael Givet slipped and Ireland ignored Adebayor’s call at the far post, teasing and tantalising his way in to the box. With Robinson exposed Ireland finished the job by stabbing through his near post. It was a great finish. This though is just the beginning. NEIL ASHTON WRITING FOR THE NEWS OF THE WORLD 16TH AUGUST 2009















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