Blackburn Rovers take Manchester City to FA Cup replay
Manchester City will face an FA Cup Third Round replay after they were reduced to ten men in an action-packed 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park this afternoon.
City struggled to string many passes together in a sluggish opening 20 minutes, with Blackburn having the better chances as Chris Taylor saw his effort deflected wide and Scott Dann heading at Costel Pantilimon from the resulting corner.
Matija Nastasic entered the book for a late challenge on Adam Henley in the 21st minute, but the visitors soon grew into their stride.
After half an hour, Negredo cleverly dinked the ball over the head of Grant Hanley, but the ball just span away from the forward and into the hands of Paul Robinson.
Seven minutes later, Dedryck Boyata cut the ball back to David Silva from the byline, but the Spaniard blazed his effort over the bar from 12 yards.
Negredo was incensed in the 40th minute when Tommy Spurr seemed to drag the striker back, but no penalty was given.
However, with virtually the last kick of the half, Negredo peeled away from his marker at the far post and swept the ball home from close range after Edin Dzeko had nodded Silva’s corner into the path of his strike partner.
Ten minutes after the break, though, Rovers were level. From a corner, Gestede powered a header towards goal which Pantilimon could not hold, and Scott Dann pounced to lash the ball home from close range.
The home side were almost caught a few moments later as City broke from a corner, but Negredo could not feed an unmarked Dezko on the far side of the box as Hanley stuck a leg out to cut out the pass.
Gestede almost turned provider once more just after the hour mark, but Taylor fired over the bar from the forward’s cross.
Then at the other end, Dzeko fired a half-volley goalwards which Robinson could only palm into the path of the onrushing Negredo, but the goalscorer sent his diving header well wide of the near post with the goal gaping.
Pellegrini called upon Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas to turn the game in City’s favour, but it was Dzeko who almost gave them the lead with a fierce strike that nearly squirmed through the gloves of Robinson.
Navas went close twice within minutes of his introduction, and was first denied by a good save by the Blackburn stopper before he sent a left-footed shot just wide of the far post.
Gary Bowyer introduced top goalscorer Jordan Rhodes and DJ Campbell as he sensed a winner for his side, and a late Blackburn goal looked all the more likely when Dedryck Boyata was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Campbell with five minutes remaining.
Cairney came close to a dramatic late winner, but with Pantilimon beaten, the 22-year-old saw his whipped effort curl just wide of the far post.
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