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Micah battles with Ryan Nelsen for the ball

Micah battles with Ryan Nelsen for the ball

Sunday December 28, 2008Micah's Say... Blackburn Rovers v Manchester City

By William Wood | In Micah's Say

Manchester City snatched a draw at neighbours Blackburn Rovers courtesy of two late goals, and Micah gave his views on the dramatic encounter exclusively with MicahRichards.com.

Mark Hughes’ return to Ewood Park for the first time since his summer switch to City came in the wake of his new side’s emphatic 5-1 dismissal of Hull City on Boxing Day, though The Citizens were hunting only their second victory on the road this term.

The hosts, meanwhile, had looked rejuvenated under Paul Ince’s successor, Sam Allardyce, with an impressive 3-0 victory in his first game in charge followed up by a hard-fought point against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Hughes opted for one change for the trip across Lancashire, with Micah named among the substitutes after he sustained a hamstring strain in the side’s previous outing, while Blackburn welcomed back Tugay into the starting eleven in the absence of David Dunn.

Allardyce’s men kicked-off the fixture occupying bottom of the Premier League due to results earlier that day, and they had a chance minutes in as Jason Roberts rounded Richard Dunne before the latter hauled down his opponent, but Rovers were unable to take advantage of the subsequent free-kick.

Controversy ensued soon after as Robinho burst into Blackburn’s penalty area and appeared to be fouled by Andre Ooijer, but Howard Webb waved play on despite the pleas from the away bench.

The Brazil international could and really should have edged City in front with just 11 minutes gone, however, as Felipe Caicedo’s fine cross from the left found him unmarked eight-yards from goal, but he was unable to guide the ball inside the far post.

Roberts was the poignant threat to Joe Hart and his defence and the former Wigan Athletic hit-man required the full attention of Dunne as he weaved his way towards goal, while Elano smashed a free-kick from 30-yards well wide.

As both sides seemingly cancelled each other out in the lead up to half-time, an innocuous looking ball into the box by Brett Emerton just before half-time found Roberts who, after leaving Dunne and Nedum Onouha standing, laid the ball off to Benni McCarthy who found the back of the net.

The visitors continued to probe without an end product, Shaun Wright-Phillips striking the woodwork with a tame header, while Stephen Ireland came to life with a low drive that flew just wide.

Robinho then forced Paul Robinson into a full-stretch save as Hughes committed further members of his side forward, but the game seemed finally to drift out of reach for the away side as Roberts connected with Christopher Samba’s pass to extend Rovers’ advantage to two goals.

However, there was still time for City to turn the match around, substitute Daniel Sturridge capitalising on a mistake from Ooijer to kick-start the nerves among the home faithful.

And the comeback was complete when goal-scorer turned provider, Sturridge finding Robinho who slotted the ball past Robinson, and City returned to the City of Manchester with a well-earned draw.

“In honesty a lot of the boys thought the game had gone, but we battled right to the end and got a well deserved point,” Micah said.

“We showed great team spirit in coming back from two goals down, especially away from home, and this results gives us a further boost after the win over Hull.

“A draw would have been hard to take for them as they led the game for so long, but I think luck was on our side.
We deserved the draw, but Blackburn will feel hard done that they did not win the game.”

The England international made a real impression when he was introduced to proceedings midway through the second-half, going close to scoring for City, and he explained the motive for his relegation to the bench.

“I was on the bench just as precaution,” he concluded. “I hurt my hamstring against Hull and the physio thought it was safer I didn’t start.”

“However, I came off the bench and it felt ok, and I’m going to concentrate on being 100% fit for the next game.”