Negredo, Dzeko and Aguero help five-star City beat Blackburn in FA Cup

The Spanish striker has brought his tally to 21 goals in all competitions this season for the club.

Alvaro Negredo (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal.
Alvaro Negredo (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

SERGIO AGUERO MARKED his comeback with a goal as Manchester City swept past Blackburn Rovers with an emphatic 5-0 victory in their FA Cup third-round replay tonight.

Held 1-1 at Ewood Park in the initial tie, City took control of the replay at a rain-soaked Etihad Stadium thanks to a brace of goals either side of half-time from Alvaro Negredo.

Edin Dzeko added a third before Aguero scored only 50 seconds after his introduction as a 72nd-minute substitute, following a month on the sidelines with a calf injury.

Dzeko brought up City’s 99th goal in all competitions this season to make it 5-0, leaving Blackburn’s Championship counterparts Watford with plenty of food for thought ahead of their trip to the Etihad in the fourth round.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini made eight changes to the team that won 2-0 at Newcastle United on Sunday and his new-look side initially struggled to make inroads.

Blackburn had largely succeeded in keeping their opponents at arm’s length, but with the respite of the half-time interval within touching distance, City struck.

Navas’s pass found the overlapping Fernandinho and the Brazilian’s whipped cross enabled Negredo to claim his 20th goal of the season with a firm downward header.

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Pellegrini introduced Aleksandar Kolarov for Fernandinho at half-time and the first thing the Serbian did was create City’s second goal with a superb searching pass from halfway that Negredo lifted past Robinson.

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The timing of Negredo’s second goal was every bit as cruel as his first, but Blackburn briefly threatened to make a game of it.

In the space of a minute, Joshua King headed over and then forced Pantilimon into a save at his near post, before Jason Lowe shot narrowly wide.

The flurry passed, however, and Dzeko made the game safe in the 67th minute when he swept a shot high into the net at the near post from Navas’s low cross.

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Aguero came on for Negredo and needed only two touches to make his mark, trapping a lay-off from Dzeko and swivelling before planting a low shot in the bottom-right corner with his left foot.

Gavin Cooney
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Dzeko added a fifth with 11 minutes remaining, finishing at the near post after the irrepressible Navas drove yet another excellent cross into the box from the right.

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- © AFP, 2014

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