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City five clear after Rovers defeat


Mario Balotelli (centre)

Mario Balotelli (centre)

Mario Balotelli (centre)

Manchester City's three top scorers were all on target as the Barclays Premier League leaders overpowered Blackburn 3-0 to move five points clear at the top of the table.

In the week Carlos Tevez was welcomed back to training, leading strikers Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko reminded manager Roberto Mancini of their talents in a one-sided win at the Etihad Stadium.

Blackburn barely mustered a shot on goal as they were completely outplayed and their defeat might have been embarrassing but for a string of superb saves by Paul Robinson.

The hosts gave an early warning of their intentions as Balotelli tested Robinson with just a minute gone. Johnson created space to shoot from distance but Robinson parried and the ball was hacked clear.

Blackburn finally cracked on the half-hour as City counter-attacked with David Silva releasing Aleksandar Kolarov on the left.

The Serbian powered forward and pulled the ball back for Balotelli who, six yards out, instinctively clipped it past Robinson at the near post.

Despite being beaten, Robinson continued to impress, saving another sharp effort from Silva. There was better to come from the former England goalkeeper as he palmed away a backheeled Vincent Kompany volley at a corner and he deserved the luck as Yaya Toure put the rebound wide.

The seemingly inevitable second goal came after 52 minutes as Robinson showed his fallibility. The goalkeeper spilled a Silva corner and Aguero was on hand to blast in on the half-volley.

Balotelli left the field to a standing ovation with 12 minutes remaining, moments after taking a knock in an aerial challenge in the area and requiring treatment.

His replacement, Dzeko, wasted little time in making an impression as he headed the third two minutes later. Kolarov found space down the left and whipped in a superb cross for the Bosnian, who turned in his 18th of the campaign.