Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points after claiming a comfortable home victory over struggling Blackburn.

City dominated from start to finish and took the lead when Mario Balotelli swept in Aleksandar Kolarov's cross.

A second goal, hammered in from close range by Sergio Aguero, made sure of the points before substitute Edin Dzeko headed in a third just after coming on.

Rovers could muster only two meaningful shots on goal in the whole 90 minutes.

The balance of the match was exactly as you would expect from one between the expensively-assembled, league-leading top-scorers and the comparatively cheap, 18th-placed side with the division's worst defence.

There was once a time when Blackburn were the team accused of buying their way to success, as Jack Walker's millions helped propel them to a first top-division title in more than 90 years in 1995.

Inflation and the spiralling cost of football mean the figures are far greater 17 years on, but the principle remains the same now with City on the riches-fuelled fast-track to potential Premier League glory.

It is a testimony to the speed at which modern football changes that in 1994-95, as Rovers were charging to the title, City spent just £30,000. In the build-up to and during this season alone Roberto Mancini has parted with more than £80m on players.

MAN CITY'S HOME COMFORT

  • Manchester City have now equalled the Premier League record for winning each of their first 13 home matches of the season, level with Newcastle in 1995-96.

The result of such a lavish outlay is clear to see on the pitch. City were never troubled by a limited Blackburn side, who beat Manchester United 3-2 on their last visit to the city, but never looked like repeating the trick.

At the other end, the home side's artistic attacking unit - comprising the fulcrum of David Silva, the incessantly energetic Sergio Aguero and the enigmatically talented Balotelli and Adam Johnson - picked Rovers apart at will.

In contrast to City, Blackburn's outlay of around £15m for this campaign is seen by many Blackburn fans as part-evidence of what they perceive to be Venky's inept running of the club.

Platt wants Man City winning run

Manager Steve Kean has also come in for abuse but it would be harsh to blame him for this defeat. Rovers simply do not have the personnel to compete with a City side who had won 17 consecutive home matches ahead of this.

It took all of Rovers' effort just to try and contain City, let alone mount attacks of their own and in 90 minutes they only threatened Joe Hart's goal twice when Morten Gamst Pedersen struck a long-range volley that deflected wide and Yakubu curled a tame shot into the keeper's hands in the second half.

Balotelli had already seen a shot from an Adam Johnson pull-back saved by Paul Robinson and a header from Pablo Zabaleta's cross go wide before he opened the scoring.

Silva found Kolarov out wide and his cross was side-footed into the far corner by the Italian striker, who revealed yet another t-shirt in celebration, this one emblazoned with 'Raffaella I love you' in Italian.

Sergio Aguero also spurned a number of chances prior to scoring the second when he failed to get enough power on a Balotelli cross and then put a shot past the far post after holding off the nudges and knocks of two Rovers defenders.

Robinson was culpable for Aguero's goal when he weakly palmed a corner into the air, allowing the Argentine to blast in from close range on the half-volley.

A minute after coming on as a replacement for Balotelli, Dzeko headed in Kolarov's cross to round off another City home win.

In 1994-95, Blackburn won the league, while City finished 17th. Both clubs would be delighted with a role-reversal this season.

Manchester City first-team coach David Platt:

"I actually thought Mario Balotelli was very disciplined in his performance and his work rate was exceptional both on and off the ball.

"His temperament was good. He can be pleased with his afternoon's work.

"All three strikers have scored all season. They are scoring goals but the team is creating them for them.

"In terms of possession you saw that we controlled the game.

"We knew we had to get off to a good start, not to let them settle into their game plan and we did that.

"We created chances and felt the goal was coming."

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean:

"The games we have coming up now, Aston Villa, Bolton and Wigan - teams in and around us - mean it's going to be a massive month for us.

"We have no injuries today and got a couple coming back, Gael Givet and Jason Lowe from suspension, so fingers crossed lads come back from international duty fresh and fit to play.

"You know how difficult it's going to be with the depth of the (City) squad.

"It was probably close to a £400million squad with the lads on the pitch and on the bench, so they can rotate and add quality when they decide to rest people."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Manchester City

  • 25 Hart
  • 04 Kompany
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 06 Lescott
  • 13 Kolarov
  • 11 Johnson (Pizarro - 71' )
  • 21 Silva
  • 34 De Jong
  • 42 Y Toure (Milner - 86' )
  • 16 Aguero
  • 45 Balotelli (Dzeko - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 02 Richards
  • 22 Clichy
  • 07 Milner
  • 08 Pizarro
  • 19 Nasri
  • 10 Dzeko

Blackburn Rovers

  • 01 Robinson
  • 03 Mn Olsson
  • 16 Dann
  • 18 Orr Booked
  • 31 Hanley Booked
  • 10 Formica (Rochina - 69' )
  • 12 Pedersen
  • 14 Petrovic (Nzonzi - 69' )
  • 21 Ms Olsson
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 24 Yakubu

Substitutes

  • 13 Bunn
  • 39 Henley
  • 15 Nzonzi
  • 29 Vukcevic
  • 09 Modeste
  • 20 Rochina
  • 25 Goodwillie
Ref: Jones
Att: 46,782

Match Stats

Shots

20 2

On target

13 2

Corners

10 3

Fouls

6 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:22 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +3:01

Corner from right by-line taken short right-footed by James Milner (Man City).

90:00 +1:56

Shot by Ayegbeni Yakubu (Blackburn) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Joe Hart (Man City).

90:00 +0:27

Goal kick taken short by Joe Hart (Man City).

89:44

Shot by David Silva (Man City) left-footed from centre of penalty area (18 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

88:42

Shot by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) left-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

87:58

Cross by James Milner (Man City), resulting in open play.

86:51

Attacking throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

85:46

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by David Pizarro (Man City) to centre, shot by Vincent Kompany (Man City) right-footed from left side of penalty area (6 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

85:33 Substitution

Substitution Man City substitution: Gnegneri Toure Yaya replaced by James Milner (injury).

84:15

Cross by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), clearance by Scott Dann (Blackburn).

80:02

Assist (cross) by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from left wing.

80:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Edin Dzeko - Man City 3 - 0 Blackburn headed goal by Edin Dzeko (Man City) (bottom-left of goal) from centre of penalty area (6 yards).Man City 3-0 Blackburn.

80:01

Cross by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City),

79:02

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) to far post, resulting in open play.

78:44

Shot by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) volleyed right-footed from left channel (20 yards), blocked by Vincent Kompany (Man City).

78:04

Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Robinson (Blackburn) from own half, resulting in open play.

78:04 Substitution

Substitution Man City substitution: Mario Balotelli replaced by Edin Dzeko (tactical).

77:37

Foul by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) on Ayegbeni Yakubu (Blackburn).

77:25

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by David Silva (Man City) to centre, clearance by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

75:53

Cross by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), header by Mario Balotelli (Man City) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), blocked by Scott Dann (Blackburn).

73:30

Attacking throw-in by Sergio Aguero (Man City).

73:02

Defending throw-in by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

72:37

Foul by Bradley Orr (Blackburn) on Mario Balotelli (Man City). Free kick taken right-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from left wing, passed.

72:11

Goal kick taken long by Joe Hart (Man City).

71:52

Foul by David Silva (Man City) on Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn). Free kick taken left-footed by Martin Olsson (Blackburn) from own half, passed.

71:13

Attacking throw-in by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

70:42

Free kick taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) from left channel, resulting in open play.

70:42 Substitution

Substitution Man City substitution: Adam Johnson replaced by David Pizarro (tactical).

70:37

Foul by Sergio Aguero (Man City) on Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn).

68:52

Morten Gamst Pedersen restarts play with the free kick.

68:52 Substitution

Substitution Steven Nzonzi replaces Radosav Petrovic.

68:52 Substitution

Substitution Mauro Formica goes off and Ruben Rochina comes on.

68:52

Pablo Zabaleta is penalised for a handball.

67:43

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

66:28

Corner from right by-line taken short right-footed by David Silva (Man City). David Silva (Man City) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Robinson (Blackburn) from own half, resulting in open play.

65:43

Defending throw-in by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City).

64:44

Attacking throw-in by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City).

64:09

Foul by Bradley Orr (Blackburn) on Mario Balotelli (Man City). Free kick crossed left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from left wing, clearance by Scott Dann (Blackburn).

62:39

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

61:59

Defending throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

61:46

Defending throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

61:34

Shot by David Silva (Man City) left-footed from right side of penalty area (12 yards), goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

60:07

Defending throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

57:59

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

56:42

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) to centre, clearance by Mario Balotelli (Man City).

56:06

Attacking throw-in by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City).

54:21

Defending throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

54:02

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

51:51

Assist (cross) by David Silva (Man City) from right by-line.

51:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Man City 2 - 0 Blackburn Goal by Sergio Aguero (Man City) right-footed (bottom-left of goal) from centre of penalty area (12 yards).Man City 2-0 Blackburn.

51:32

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by David Silva (Man City) to centre, save (punched) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

51:32 Booking

Booking Bradley Orr (Blackburn) booked for dissent.

50:57

Shot by Adam Johnson (Man City) left-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Scott Dann (Blackburn).

49:27

Attacking throw-in by Mario Balotelli (Man City).

48:56

Handball by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City). Free kick taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) from own half, passed.

46:44

Foul by Bradley Orr (Blackburn) on Mario Balotelli (Man City). Free kick taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from own half, passed.

46:15

Defending throw-in by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:34 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:54

Shot by Sergio Aguero (Man City) left-footed from left side of penalty area (6 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

45:00 +1:09

Shot by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

45:00 +1:00

Cross by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City), resulting in open play.

45:00 +0:18

Cross by Mario Balotelli (Man City), shot by Sergio Aguero (Man City) right-footed from right side of penalty area (6 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

44:07

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

43:42

Attacking throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

42:36

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Adam Johnson (Man City) to centre, shot by Sergio Aguero (Man City) volleyed right-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

40:48

Defending throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

40:12

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

39:32

Defending throw-in by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

38:22

Foul by Bradley Orr (Blackburn) on David Silva (Man City). Free kick taken left-footed by David Silva (Man City) from own half, passed.

38:15

Cross by Martin Olsson (Blackburn), clearance by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City).

35:37

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) to centre, shot by Vincent Kompany (Man City) right-footed from left side of six-yard box (6 yards), save (parried) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn). Weak shot by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City) volleyed right-footed from right side of six-yard box (6 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

35:07

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) to centre, resulting in open play.

34:23

Goal kick taken short by Joe Hart (Man City).

33:57

Attacking throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

33:19

Foul by Mario Balotelli (Man City) on Scott Dann (Blackburn). Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Robinson (Blackburn) from own half, resulting in open play.

33:12

Shot by David Silva (Man City) left-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), save (with feet) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

31:57

Attacking throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

31:15

Cross by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City), resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

29:18

Assist (cross) by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from left wing.

29:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Mario Balotelli - Man City 1 - 0 Blackburn goal by Mario Balotelli (Man City) left-footed (bottom-right of goal) from left side of six-yard box (6 yards).Man City 1-0 Blackburn.

29:16

Cross by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City),

26:38

Foul by Sergio Aguero (Man City) on Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn). Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Robinson (Blackburn) from own half, resulting in open play.

26:21

Attacking throw-in by David Silva (Man City).

24:50

Foul by David Hoilett (Blackburn) on David Silva (Man City). Free kick taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli (Man City) from left channel (25 yards), save (parried) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

23:50

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

23:36

Shot by Adam Johnson (Man City) left-footed from right channel (20 yards), save (parried) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

22:05

Free kick taken right-footed by Nigel De Jong (Man City) from left channel, passed.

22:05 Booking

Booking Grant Hanley (Blackburn) booked for unsporting behaviour.

21:54

Foul by Grant Hanley (Blackburn) on Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City).

21:10

Cross by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

20:42

Foul by Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn) on David Silva (Man City). Free kick taken right-footed by David Silva (Man City) from right wing, passed.

19:34

Attacking throw-in by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City).

18:13

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

16:29

Defending throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

16:06

Defending throw-in by Joleon Lescott (Man City).

15:58

Cross by Sergio Aguero (Man City), clearance by Scott Dann (Blackburn).

15:09

Foul by Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn) on Mario Balotelli (Man City). Free kick taken right-footed by Nigel De Jong (Man City) from own half, passed.

14:34

Sergio Aguero (Man City) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Paul Robinson (Blackburn) from own half, resulting in open play.

13:48

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

13:24

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) to centre, clearance by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn).

13:17

Cross by Adam Johnson (Man City), clearance by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

11:37

Foul by Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn) on Mario Balotelli (Man City). Free kick crossed left-footed by David Silva (Man City) from right wing, clearance by Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn).

10:57

Defending throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

10:06

Weak shot by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City) right-footed from left channel (35 yards), missed right. Defending throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

8:41

Goal kick taken short by Joe Hart (Man City).

8:16

Attacking throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

7:32

Foul by Radosav Petrovic (Blackburn) on David Silva (Man City). Free kick crossed left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) from left wing, clearance by Grant Hanley (Blackburn).

7:26

Cross by Adam Johnson (Man City), blocked by Bradley Orr (Blackburn).

6:27

Goal kick taken long by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

5:39

Attacking throw-in by Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City).

5:15

Defending throw-in by Gnegneri Toure Yaya (Man City).

4:42

Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) to centre, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

3:59

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City) on Marcus Olsson (Blackburn). Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn) from left channel, clearance by Vincent Kompany (Man City).

3:19

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

2:50

Defending throw-in by Martin Olsson (Blackburn).

1:21

Attacking throw-in by Pablo Zabaleta (Man City).

1:09

Corner from right by-line taken short left-footed by Adam Johnson (Man City).

0:59

Shot by Mario Balotelli (Man City) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), save (tipped round post) by Paul Robinson (Blackburn).

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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