Blackburn Rovers 0 - 2 Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers slumped to an opening day Premier League defeat to Manchester City at Ewood Park.
Blackburn probably had the better of the first half, but it was Emmanuel Adebayor who opened the scoring for the visitors with an excellent finish.
City struggled to combine going forwards at times in the first half, and Rovers were able to exploit some ensure defending.
Allardyce's side engineered chances but didn't capitalise and went into the break 1-0 down. The Citizens emerged from the break with a bit more attacking endeavour, this was interrupted by heavy rain that made it more difficult for City to play their game.
However, they increasingly imposed themselves on the game and Blackburn ran out of ideas. In the end Manchester City were comfortable in securing victory.
Blackburn had a good chance early on. El-Hadji Diouf crossed in from the right, it was met by Benni McCarthy who headed the ball goal wards. Richard Dunne did well to get it away, clearing the ball off the line.
City immediately broke on the counter with Adebayor releasing Shaun Wright-Phillips down the right flank. The Englishman skinned Stephen Warnock and cut inside, squaring the ball across the edge of the penalty area. Adebayor advanced onto the ball, and sent a curling right foot strike beyond Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal.
Rovers responded with a period of sustained pressure on the Manchester City goal, Morten Gamst Pedersen swinging in four excellent corners. Kolo Toure did well to get a block onto a Keith Andrews shot to deny one opportunity.
The Citizens were caught offside in a couple of instances, Craig Bellamy playing off the shoulder of the last defender as usual. Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland combined to release Bellamy in the 15th minute. The Welshman was frustrated by the flag, but had still sent his shot into the side netting.
Jason Roberts had a good chance a few minutes later, a throw in from Pedersen was nodded back to the Norweigan on the right flank and he swung the ball into the box. The cross was helped on by Samba and found Roberts in space 12 yards from goal, but the striker volleyed over the bar with his instep.
A mix-up between Given and Dunne almost gifted Blackburn a goal, a nothing long-ball forward saw Given come to collect. The Irishman collided with Dunne, but gathered the loose ball before McCarthy could latch onto it.
Given was called into action again, Diouf swung in a corner from the right and the cross was met with a powerful header from Samba. Given produced a wonderful one-handed save low to his right to deny Parisian defender.
Blackburn continued to press towards half-time, but the best remaining chances of the half fell to Robinho for Manchester City. The first came in the 36th minute with Robinho hitting a viscous strike from 20 yards out on the left, forcing Robinson to tip over the bar.
The second came from a Barry free-kick out of the right, won by the Englishman after he showed quick feet. Barry sent an in-swinging cross towards the back post where Robinho was unmarked, but the Brazilian didn't make proper contact and sent his shot into the side-netting.
Manchester City started the second half more brightly, with Wayne Bridge hitting a left-footed drive across the goal mouth in the 49th minute. Robinho was lurking at the far post but he couldn't quite reach the ball to turn it into the net.
Adebayor became increasingly influential, with his movement causing Blackburn problems at the back. The Togo international instigated a move involved Ireland, Wright-Phillips, and Robinho before Gael Givet tackled expertly to deny Adebayor an opportunity at goal.
Roberts had a headed opportunity from 10 yards out, Diouf crossed in from the right and the former-Wigan forward nodded the goal wards. Given reacted well and saved to his left, Roberts should have got more power onto his header.
Robinho unleashed an excellent shot on goal minutes later. Attacking from the right, the Brazilian came inside onto his left foot, and rifled a curling strike towards the bottom corner. Robinson was stretching and got his right glove onto it to push the ball out for a corner.
It was Robinho's last meaningful contribution of the game, as he was withdrawn and replaced by Carlos Tevez who was making his competitive debut for City. Bellamy moved out to the left so Tevez could partner Adebayor up front.
Blackburn won a free-kick in a dangerous position, it was stuck with some venom by McCarthy and it cleared the bar by inches. Given was furious with the referee, Diouf was blocking his view and was in an offside position.
Coming into the final 10 minutes Samba was sent into an emergency striker role as Blackburn pumped balls forward hoping to pick up the scraps, but little came of the tactical change.
City sealed the win with an Ireland goal in stoppage time, Wright-Phillips played the ball forward for Ireland and Givet failed to cut the ball out. Ireland tried to round keeper Robinson, but was held up by the Blackburn goalie.
The midfielder kept his composure as three defenders got back to cover, but Ireland slotted the ball past Robinson at the near post from 10 yards.