Manchester City put the Carlos Tevez saga behind them with a classy victory at Blackburn that keeps them level on points with leaders Manchester United.
City lost Sergio Aguero to a groin injury in a forgettable first half but they found top form in the second.
Mario Balotelli hit a post before Adam Johnson struck with a magnificent curling effort into the top corner.
Balotelli volleyed home, Samir Nasri hit a deflected third and Stefan Savic headed in to confirm Blackburn's woe.
Rovers are now second-bottom of the Premier League table with four points from seven games and a goal difference of -9.
A number of their fans staged a sit-in protest at full-time to demand the dismissal of manager Steve Kean, who will meet with the club's owners when he takes his squad to India next week.
Life looks considerably brighter for City, who join United on 19 points with a goal difference only one inferior to their rivals' 19.
Their preparations were overshadowed by the fall-out from in the Champions League.
for allegedly refusing to come on as a substitute while to boss Roberto Mancini after reacting angrily to being replaced.
Before the trip to Ewood Park, Mancini stated "I'm the manager, I'm in control" and he made six changes to his starting line-up - with Dzeko among those making way.
City carried little threat in the early stages and when they did work an opportunity on 10 minutes, Dzeko's replacement Balotelli shot wastefully over the bar.
Apart from a perfectly-timed James Milner tackle that denied Blackburn striker Yakubu, City dominated possession but created little in the way of meaningful chances.
And their cause was not helped when Sergio Aguero limped off with a groin injury.
However, City responded positively as Balotelli curled narrowly wide and turned Pablo Zabaleta's low cross into the side-netting.
Blackburn offered nothing going forward in the opening period and that continued after the break, encouraging City to flood forward.
The visitors began to hold a much higher line, passing and moving with greater urgency, and their reward was forthcoming.
A David Silva shot was deflected just wide and Balotelli struck the woodwork before Johnson fired into the top corner after Blackburn failed to clear a corner.
Mancini's men were suddenly buzzing and three minutes later they doubled their lead, Balotelli getting in front of Scott Dann to volley Nasri's cross past Paul Robinson.
Nasri then got in on the act, rounding off a counter-attack with a drilled finish that deflected off Jason Lowe.
Blackburn came close to pulling one back - Morten Gamst Pedersen almost scored direct from a corner and Yakubu shot wide.
But an unmarked Savic nodded his first goal for City to complete the rout and the final whistle brought boos from the home crowd.