Mr Whippy eat your heart out – MAN CITY 5 BLACKBURN ROVERS 0

 A  ‘99 Special’ from Pellegrini’s may sound like a delicious treat from an exotic ice cream parlour, but when it comes to creating mouth-watering delight’s Manuel is superior to Mr Whippy, Mr Creamy or any other genius gelato-maker.

The only thing missing from a Manuel-made 99 is anything remotely flaky – his Manchester City side are decidedly solid as they continue to give all-comers a damn good licking!

Beastie Boy - Negredo hits goals 20 & 21 Courtesy @MCFC

Beastie Boy – Negredo hit goals 20 & 21 Courtesy @MCFC

While City revel in 99 goals scored this season – and it’s only mid-January – the rapidly deflating Trafford Troglodytes’ silverware chances are ‘popping’ faster than the ‘99 Red Balloons’ chart-topping anti-nuclear protest song of yesteryear.

The only thing in meltdown in Manchester at the moment is David Moyes’ team as Pellegrini, whilst not encouraging talk of a quadruple success this season, refuses to be dismissive of the possibility.

City stayed on course for the improbable – but not impossible – task of creating UK football history, when dispatching a spirited Blackburn Rovers 5-0 at the Etihad.

High Fives - Not quite Super Six - Alvaro & Edin celebrate Courtesy @MCFC

High Fives – Not quite Super Six – Alvaro & Edin celebrate Courtesy @MCFC

Having racked up 94 goals prior to kick-off it was possible, albeit unlikely, that the terrifying trio of Negredo, Dzeko and a returning Aguero – from the sub’s bench – could conceivably take City to a century before the night was out.

It was a case of so near yet so far when James Milner, skipper for the night, struck a superb 25-yard free kick from Yaya-land (just outside the left hand side of the opponent’s 18 yard box) in the 88th minute, only to see it go fractionally wide.

Captain Milner - James came within a fraction of City's 100th goal of the season  Courtesy @MCFC

Captain Milner – James came within a fraction of City’s 100th goal of the season Courtesy @MCFC

Crestfallen, the majority of the 35,000 crowd – a commendable attendance given the conditions – both economic and weather – plus infernal ITV’s live coverage, had to ‘settle’ for just the five successful strikes.

Even at the half-time interval, with City leading 1-0 thanks to The Beast’s excellent 45th minute header, it was difficult to envisage another of City’s regular goal gluts, at an average of four-per game at the Etihad.

A much changed City line-up for this FA Cup 3rd Round replay, must have been inspired by Pellegrini’s half time pep talk because the second half bore no resemblance to the first.

Gary Bowyer’s stoical Blackburn defence turned to mush in the torrential rain as City’s most favoured ‘Beastie Boy’ from Sevilla and Bosnian hitman Edin, bagged a brace-a-piece.

2-0 - Negredo dinks the ball over Blackburn substitute keeper Eastwood  Courtesy @MCFC

2-0 – Negredo dinks the ball over Blackburn substitute keeper Eastwood Courtesy @MCFC

Oh, and there was a slice of Sergio magic in between, as he managed to score his 20th of the season, after just 49 seconds and literally two touches of the ball.

The Etihad Choir don’t over complicate the lyrics to some of their songs, but with City in rampant mood it’s hard to tire of standards such as ‘BEAST BEAST BEAST’ ‘SERGIO-SERGIO, SERGIO-SERGIO’ and ‘EDIN DZEKO-OOO, EDIN DZEKO-OOO’ as the nets wear thin through constant punishment.

If City score for the 61st consecutive Premier League home game against Cardiff, it makes you wonder if the stadium announcer will mimic the World Darts Championship commentator, with a tuneful ‘ONE HUNDRED’ over the PA system.

Negredo bagged his 21st and City’s 96th two minutes after the break. Kolarov – replacing the architect of Alvaro’s first half header, Fernandinho, provided a perfect 40 yard through ball for the swashbuckling Spaniard to dink over Rover’s replacement keeper Eastwood.

Take aim - Sergio fires home after two touches and 49 seconds  Courtesy @MCFC

Take aim – Sergio fires home after two touches and 49 seconds Courtesy @MCFC

Dzeko added a third in the 67th minute. Oft maligned, Dzeko has been having something of a renaissance of recent weeks in Aguero’s enforced absence.

He was the embodiment of, if at first you don’t succeed, try try and try again.

In the first period he hit shots into row Z, then row Z at the back of the previous row Z, plus a header that was last seen in orbit around Uranus!

So, what does he do in the second half – he scores from his most difficult chance of the night on the edge of the six yard box – with a hard angled drive, following yet another assist from Jesus Navas.

It was the same Spanish-Bosnian combination that edged City within one of the century of goals, when Navas whipped in a low cross, Dzeko stepped ahead of his marker and side-footed home with 80 minutes on the clock.

Never give up - Edin scores City's fifth  Courtesy @MCFC

Never give up – Edin scores City’s fifth Courtesy @MCFC

Super-sub for just one day, Sergio netted number 98 after replacing Negredo, who’d probably had his sights set on his third hat-trick in City colours.

This time Dzeko turned provider, unselfishly passing to Aguero in the box after receiving Clichy’s cross.

Showing no signs of rust after eight games out, the Argentine icon took one touch, created a yard of space amid a sea of Rovers defenders and fired home. What an entrance!

Looks familiar - Sergio goal celebration  Courtesy @MCFC

Looks familiar – Sergio goal celebration Courtesy @MCFC

Speaking of entrances, Pellegrini blooded one of City’s emerging talents from the Elite Development Squad. Midfielder Emyr Huws made his senior debut, replacing Micah Richards in the 77th minute.

Come May time one wonders how City will ultimately end up exiting the season – how many trophies could have been won, 1, 2, 3 even 4?

Will Mr Sheen be the first signing in the summer transfer window, to keep a plethora of silverware gleaming in City’s bulging trophy cabinet?  God forbid it should go horribly pear-shaped!

Blues with Spanish eyes -will Negredo & Navas be smiling in May...and do they like jelly & ice cream?  Courtesy @MCFC

Blues with Spanish eyes -will Negredo & Navas be smiling in May…and do they like jelly & ice cream? Courtesy @MCFC

If Manuel Pellegrini can deliver THE most glorious season in the club’s history it will mean the 99 Specials will be off the menu…it’ll be jelly and ice cream all the way!


By David Walker @djwskyblu           


  1. January 16, 2014  8:17 pm by Alan Baxter Reply

    One of the joys of being a member of the #bluearmy at the moment is with our assault on 4 fronts continuing we are playing twice a week nearly every week. This means we do not have long to wait to watch one of the greatest club sides in the world at the moment. I feel privileged to be able to attend and witness what our team are producing on 'Gods green acre' this season. Long may it continue.
    Great piece again David, thank you.

    • January 16, 2014  8:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Alan - a real pleasure to meet you at last. Yes a game every 3 days - that's a minimum 6 blogs a week - OH WHAT FUN! Heading for divorce courts!

  2. January 16, 2014  8:23 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    Like the ice cream & jelly reference Dave very funny.What a team MP is producing they just get better & better. 1st half we were a bit sluggish but once we got going it was raining goals. How far can we go time will tell. Just got to mention Gary Bowyer Blackburn Manger what a refreshing change from Pardew the prat he was refreshingly honest & looks like he could be one to watch in the future.

    • January 16, 2014  8:45 pm by David Walker Reply

      Totally agree on Gary Bowyer - respectful, not overawed but obviously his team had limitations. Such a contrast as you say with pernicious potty mouth Pardew.

  3. January 16, 2014  10:58 pm by Simon Dear Reply

    I must say like most City fans I dont like all this quadruple talk, unlike the media who are clearly talking us up whilst hoping we fall at the next hurdle. But I must say if any manager can keep the players fresh , happy and involved then MP can , I think the way he conducts himself with a cool head and speaks to the press so intelligently, the man just oozes class , I cant ever imagine him bring fined by the FA! clearly the players respect him and all want a part in this team. one cup final in the bag , and banging them in for fun, just take one game at a time. If we can avoid injuries from now until May I think we will come very close to a treble and might bag a double.
    I still think Messi and co are going to be difficult & hes looking like hes coming back to his very best now so Vinny will have to play the two best games of his life. All the more reason to get that big name CB in this transfer window if at all possible , I still get abit edgy when Vinny isn't around fingers crossed he stays the distance. I think that will ultimately be the key.
    Great read David, like City's front men you are clearly enjoying yourself!

    • January 16, 2014  11:55 pm by David Walker Reply

      And you are clearly articulating some excellent MCFC & RBNR feedback - thanks again fella.

  4. January 16, 2014  11:01 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    The conclusion of the game was harsh on Rovers, but we were ruthless once we had the opportunity. Although neat in possession, I never felt as though they seriously threatened our goal. That may have been different if Rhodes had been playing for them.
    Great to see the price structure put in place for the 4th round as well.
    Let's see if we can get the ton up on Saturday - a score to settle there, as well.

    • January 16, 2014  11:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      Yes, agree on all points. As for the Bluebirds in red, I hope we give the returning Bellers a great reception, but reserve an even more hostile and fiery one for their Icelandic leader. Cardiff fans back in August were pretty good - well they would be wouldn't they - Christmas had come early and MP was still getting used to playing Premier League games in foreign countries ;-)

      Let's hope but never assume it will be 11/11 at the Etihad and 105 goals scored come Saturday tea time.

  5. January 17, 2014  3:30 am by Jim Land Reply

    Below I have pasted 2 quotes from the BBC City article entitled "Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini eyes record trophy haul."

    "It's difficult [to win all four] but we'll try," Pellegrini said ahead of Wednesday's FA cup tie."

    ""We know that during the season, with injuries and the amount of games you have to play, it is very difficult," added Pellegrini, whose side are one point behind Premier League leaders Arsenal with 17 games remaining. That's why nobody has done it before. But I think we must have the mentality to try to do it. But we're not thinking of winning the four competitions, we are just thinking of winning the FA Cup tie against Blackburn. Then on Saturday we will try and beat Cardiff in the league."

    it seems the media have ignored all PM's words and misrepresented his views - which amount to 'We'll try and win every game, but we're concentrating on the next one' - as an arrogance of the type we expected from across town. I hope City do win 4 trophies, but I don't expect it. More than that, I hope City fans NEVER turn into the arrogant glory-hunting type from next door, who think they have a divine right to win every game, and can never accept being beaten. However, if you take the view that the fans are a reflection of their team, which in turn is a reflection of the manager, we should be OK.

  6. January 17, 2014  5:24 am by David Walker Reply

    Great observations Jim - opposition fans are already trying to categorise City supporters with those from the dark side. The problem is that the 'green eye' only sees what it wants to see. Hopefully City fans will remain true to old values. The media continues to misrepresent MCFC at almost every opportunity. We're getting used to it.

  7. January 17, 2014  11:30 am by Mole Rocks Reply

    I hope Debi enjoys #RBNR enough to let you continue at this relentless pace ;-)

    MP continues to adjust the side each game and appears to have cemented his philosophy throughout the first team squad.

    Once it clicks it is an absolute joy to behold. The passing, the movement and finishing is sublime.

    I was particularly pleased to see Emyr Huws come on and thought he looked very assured.

    Hopefully Huws and Lopes will start the game against West Ham, it would be a perfect opportunity.

    Cardiff will be an interesting proposition with a new manager looking for his first win. Not sure if they'll play defensive, or have a go, one thing we know for sure is that City won't be holding back.

    • January 17, 2014  3:20 pm by David Walker Reply

      Great feedback Carl - thanks. As for Debi - the decree nisi is not yet absolute ;-)

  8. January 17, 2014  4:39 pm by Philip Entwistle Reply

    Great read Dave, cream always rises to the top, lets hope this is City come May.
    The best moment for me was at the end when the young 17 year old Blackburn sub - Mahoney, as the final whistle went turned to congratulate the nearest City player who just happened to be Aguero. Shaking hands he jestered to Sergio to swap jerseys, Sergio nodded and jestered to the tunnel. The young lad turned round with the biggest smile on his face, a trophy he can treasure the rest of his life - bless him.

    • January 17, 2014  5:42 pm by David Walker Reply

      Nice observation Philip - we are so lucky to have SERGIO SERGIO!!

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