Manchester City opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Premier League after cruising to victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Mario Balotelli swept home to hand City a half-time lead, before Sergio Aguero’s half-volley and substitute Edin Dzeko’s header sealed the simplest of wins for Roberto Mancini’s side.
Rovers were by contrast woeful from start to finish, registering just a single effort on target in the 90 minutes, a statistic that will leave manager Steve Kean with food for thought.
Goalkeeper Paul Robinson had to be at his very best to keep out Balotelli early on, but he was helpless to prevent the Italian giving City the lead when he finished off Aleksander Kolarov’s cross.
The visitors showed little ambition in the second half, and any hope they had of staging a comeback were all but extinguished when Robinson spilled a corner straight to Aguero, who smashed home.
Then with 10 minutes left on the clock Dzeko headed in and Kolarov’s wicked cross, leaving the pressure on United for their trip to Norwich City.