Blackburn force Man City into an FA Cup replay

Last updated 04:10 05/01/2014

Relevant offers


Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini suspended from football by Fifa's ethics body New Zealand women's under-20 football team qualify for World Cup Brazil football legend Ronaldinho crashes car, then poses for awkward selfie Liverpool managerial hopeful Juergen Klopp due at Anfield on Thursday Lionel Messi to stand trial in Spain on three counts of tax fraud Brisbane Roar defeat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in A-League opener A-League's season 11 promises excitement despite the doomsayers Joshua Lis makes goal-scoring return to Nelson Marlborough Falcons Liam Jordan named as one of world football's best young talents Fifa president Sepp Blatter provisionally suspended for 90 days

Premier League title favourites Manchester City were reduced to 10 men today as they survived a torrid examination of their class by lower league Blackburn Rovers in a feisty 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round.

City, unexpectedly beaten by Wigan Athletic in last season's FA Cup final, went ahead with a 45th minute goal by Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, but Championship side Blackburn levelled 10 minutes later through a similar close-range effort by Scott Dann.

Manuel Pellegrini's much-changed team had further chances to score but also rode their luck and needed to bring on Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure for Brazilian Fernandinho to retain control. Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata was dismissed in the 85th minute following two yellow card offences.

Blackburn pushed hard for a winner in the closing minutes, but City replaced Spanish winger David Silva with Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta and hung on for a replay back at the Etihad Stadium.

"We knew we'd played quite well in the first half," said Blackburn's scorer Dann. "The goal knocked the stuffing out of us, but we knew if we carried on we would hopefully get something from game - and we did."

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer, whose father Ian was an FA Cup winner with City in 1969, beamed with pride following his team's spirited display. "We had a chance and we did very well. I am very proud of my players for their efforts," he said.

His City counterpart Pellegrini praised the intensity of Blackburn's football.

"It was a difficult game for us," he said. "They played with a great intensity in front of their own fans. We wanted to win, but it is important that we did not lose this game."

The match reeked of the clubs' contrasting roles in English football history - Blackburn having won the FA Cup six times between 1884 and 1928 and City having won the trophy five times, including 2011 when they overcame Chelsea.

On a wet surface after days of stormy weather, conditions were difficult for defenders and both goalkeepers struggled, each appearing at fault for the goals, to the delight of a raucous crowd at Ewood Park.

Both came from corners, Edin Dzeko heading across goal for Negredo to volley in unchallenged for City's opener, as former England keeper Paul Robinson failed to intervene, and then his Romanian counterpart Costel Pantillimon flapping at Ben Marshall's cross to gift Dann a tap-in.

City started the second half rather complacently and Blackburn tore into them to level and threaten a famous victory.

Pellegrini, who had made seven changes to the City side that defeated Swansea on Wednesday, sensed the danger and brought on Toure after 64 minutes and Spanish winger Jesus Navas for the wasteful Negredo after 75.

Ad Feedback

Boyata ignited some late drama when he was shown a second yellow card for a swipe of his boot at Blackburn substitute striker DJ Campbell.

Blackburn did all they could to find a winner but City, with Zabaleta marshalling their defence, held on.

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content