Football

Perfect start for City

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Emmanuel Adebayor and Stephen Ireland combined to launch Manchester City into a bright new era with a 2-0 victory at Blackburn.

Adebayor belted home Shaun Wright-Phillips' lay-off to give Mark Hughes' men the perfect start after just three minutes.

Then, with stoppage time approaching, Wright-Phillips again supplied the final ball, although Ireland still had plenty to do before he beat Paul Robinson at his near post.

City were forced to survive periods of intense Rovers pressure. But with Kolo Toure in fine form and Shay Given making excellent saves to deny Chris Samba and Jason Roberts, City were able to celebrate their success with gusto.

City's opener came on the counter-attack following a Blackburn corner and it soon became evident the home side were going to enjoy a long period of dominance.

Amid a plethora of Blackburn chances, a couple stood out. Benni McCarthy cushioned a fine header into the path of Roberts and an El Hadji-Diouf corner that dropped onto Chris Samba's head. Unfortunately for the hosts, on the first occasion Roberts lashed his shot over. On the second Given flew across his goal to make an excellent save.

City were marginally the better side when the teams returned for the second period, with Adebayor looking far more lively than he had done in his last few performances with Arsenal.

Not that Rovers were throwing in the towel. Roberts brought another excellent save from Given with a stooping header. That attack triggered a response of sorts from City, who went agonisingly close through Robinho.

It was the Brazilian's only meaningful contribution and not long after he had been denied by Paul Robinson's full-length save, his number 10 was flashed up on the board as Tevez waited to be introduced.

As usual, Tevez's industry caught the eye. Robinson denied him a debut goal before Ireland, collecting Wright-Phillips' crossfield pass, calmly took his time before beating Robinson at his near post.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Emmanuel Adebayor
Football
Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Paul Robinson
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Shay Given
Mark Hughes
Jason Roberts
Shaun Wright-Phillips
Paul Robinson

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