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In Pictures: Tevez is Manchester City's hat-trick hero

Carlos Tevez scored his first hat-trick for Manchester City to send Roberto Mancini's men soaring into the top four.

It may have been snowing in these parts recently but Tevez is on a real hot streak.

His seventh-minute opener put City in charge, and then, after Micah Richards had added a brilliant second, he scored twice more after the interval to take his goals tally for the campaign to 15 as Blackburn were outclassed.

It was Mancini's fourth successive victory since replacing Mark Hughes, and although Morten Gamst Pedersen's effort left him watching his side concede for the first time, the Italian can be mightily pleased with himself.

Indeed, as he surveyed a table that sees City just seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea, fourth is by no means the summit of their ambitions — especially with Patrick Vieira, who missed last night’s match due to a calf injury, set to play a leading role soon.

Tevez continually pushed Blackburn onto the back foot last night and had already identified himself as a dangerman before Paul Robinson's blunder provided him with the opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet once more.

Martin Petrov's corner seemed easy enough for Robinson to collect at his near post.

Inexplicably, the former England goalkeeper dropped the ball.

Benjani attacked it with relish and Tevez was in the right place to turn home the Zimbabwean's shot with his hip.

Then Tevez had to step aside to let Richards share the plaudits.

Richards intercepted a cross by Morten Gamst Pedersen and began a gallop forward. He fed Benjani 30 yards up field who fired a shot at goal which came off the post. Richards controlled the rebound and made no mistake to double City’s advantage.

Benjani turned provider four minutes after the re-start, chasing down Tevez's pass into the corner and then cutting a cross back to the same man.

As the South American cannot miss at present, it must have felt as though he had the entire stand to aim at. It was no surprise the expert finish nestled into the bottom right corner.

It was comfortable for City but suddenly Mancini had to watch his side concede for the first time when Pedersen capitalised on a series of errors by Vincent Kompany and Shay Given to curl home a fine shot.

The scoring was not completed though.

Having already blown one chance at a hat-trick, Tevez did not miss a second time when he was set up in stoppage time.

That is 11 goals in nine games now. Not bad for someone Sir Alex Ferguson said struggled to score.z

Belfast Telegraph