The FA Cup - Third Round
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers1Man CityManchester City1

Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Manchester City

By Chris BevanBBC Sport at Ewood Park
Alvaro Negredo (left) puts Manchester City in front at Blackburn Rovers

Manchester City survived a scare at Ewood Park as they hung on for a replay against Championship side Blackburn Rovers in a pulsating FA Cup clash.

Last year's beaten finalists looked on course to reach the fourth round when Alvaro Negredo fired them into the lead before half-time.

But Scott Dann deservedly levelled for Rovers and City had to play a nervous last nine minutes, including stoppage time, with 10 men after defender Dedryck Boyata was sent off for his second booking near the end.

A replay was probably not on the wish-list before kick-off for City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who already has a crowded fixture list in January that includes both legs of his side's Capital One Cup semi-final with West Ham.

But he will be grateful to still be in the draw for the next round after seeing a spirited Blackburn side threaten what would have been a huge upset.

Rovers were neat and tidy in possession from the start and looked dangerous down the flanks in the early stages, but their final ball into the box did not always punish some hesitant defending.

City were initially out of sorts going forward too but began to build some pressure around the half-hour mark and soon produced the game's first real opening.

Boyata did well to find David Silva with a pull-back from the right but the Spaniard made a mess of his finish, blazing his shot high over the bar.

If that chance was a hint that City could create a goal out of nothing, Negredo's opener proved it.

The Spanish striker struck on the stroke of half-time, turning in Edin Dzeko's header from Silva's cross.

Blackburn's frustration was shown when Rovers duo Grant Hanley and Chris Taylor were involved in a shoving row as the players walked off for the break.

But Rovers, who lie 10th in the Championship, continued to attack their more illustrious hosts after the break, and got their reward when Dann fired home in the 54th minute.

The centre-back, reportedly a target of Crystal Palace during the January transfer window, reacted first when City keeper Costel Pantilimon fumbled Rudy Gestede's header and sidefooted home.

City were rattled and Blackburn, who caused one of the biggest shocks of last season's FA Cup when they knocked out Arsenal at the Emirates in the fifth round, clearly scented another upset here.

They fired a succession of balls into the area to test a jittery City defence, with Pantilimon looking an uncertain presence behind them.

City were still threatening at the other end, and Negredo should have done better with his header after former England keeper Paul Robinson, returning after a year out with illness, had kept out Dzeko's snap-shot.

Jesus Navas came off the bench to force Robinson into another diving save and City looked more likely to get a winner.

But Boyata's dismissal turned the last few minutes into a survival mission for the visitors, and Blackburn could have snatched a famous victory when Tom Cairney's shot whistled a few inches wide.

Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer:

"It was an absolutely phenomenal effort from our lads playing against a world-class team and they restored some pride in the club today.

"We always knew it was going to be a very difficult challenge but the spirit that they have and the character they are developing... It's a young squad that is improving, but you could see the unity they have together.

"That has been important for us throughout the season. I have nothing but pride and praise for them.

"It would be wrong to single out individuals but on this occasion, and the fact that Paul has not played for so long, he made some crucial saves for us in the second half and his experience helped us massively."

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini:

"We were not lucky. It was a very close match and I think we had more clear options than Blackburn but we played against a very strong team who were at home.

"They had a lot of motivation and that is normal when you have a Championship team playing against a Premier League team.

"We were going to be travelling to Abu Dhabi and having a friendly match there, now we are going to play against Blackburn Rovers at home.

"What is better? It is impossible to know."

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Line-ups

Blackburn

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Robinson
  • 27Henley
  • 3Spurr
  • 6Lowe
  • 16Dann
  • 5Hanley
  • 45Cairney
  • 19Taylor
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forRhodesat 81'minutes
  • 17WilliamsonSubstituted forKingat 64'minutes
  • 12MarshallSubstituted forCampbellat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Kilgallon
  • 7King
  • 10Campbell
  • 11Rhodes
  • 13Eastwood
  • 23Rochina
  • 25Judge

Man City

Formation 4-4-2

  • 30Pantilimon
  • 38BoyataBooked at 85mins
  • 22Clichy
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forY Touréat 64'minutes
  • 6Lescott
  • 33NastasicBooked at 21mins
  • 7Milner
  • 14García Fernández
  • 10Dzeko
  • 9NegredoSubstituted forNavasat 74'minutes
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forZabaletaat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Hart
  • 4Kompany
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 13Kolarov
  • 15Navas
  • 42Y Touré
  • 64Rony Lopes
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
18,813

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackburnAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home30%
Away70%
Shots
Home12
Away14
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away8
Fouls
Home6
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Manchester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by DJ Campbell.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jason Lowe.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Grant Hanley tries a through ball, but Jordan Rhodes is caught offside.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Pablo Zabaleta replaces David Silva.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Joleon Lescott.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by DJ Campbell.

  9. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Dedryck Boyata (Manchester City) for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    DJ Campbell (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Adam Henley.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. DJ Campbell (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Milner following a fast break.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. DJ Campbell replaces Ben Marshall.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Jordan Rhodes replaces Rudy Gestede.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Milner (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Scott Dann.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Javi García (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Silva with a cross following a corner.