quote

First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

Coach Platt salutes a striking success

Platty2

Platty2

David Platt was delighted with Mario Balotelli's triumphant return to Barclays Premier League action in a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Blackburn at the Etihad Stadium.

The Italy striker marked his comeback from a four-match suspension by unpicking the Rovers rearguard with a superb opener to pave the way to City's 18th successive home win.

The colourful star, who was later substituted to a standing ovation, celebrated his stylish goal by hoisting his shirt to reveal a love message to his girlfriend Raffaella.

Coach Platt said: "It was a good finish - I didn't realise how good until I saw it on the video. Look at the run he made to get there as well.

"He was disciplined today, his work rate was excellent and his temperament was good. He can be pleased with his afternoon's work.

"When a team defends as deep as they did you have to give the ball to players who are closely guarded. You're bound to get kicked, but I never thought there was going to be any reaction."

Sergio Aguero added his 21st goal of the season before Edin Dzeko came off the bench to head his 18th

 

Platt said: "In terms of possession, we controlled the game. We knew we had to get off to a good start in terms of rhythm and not let them settle.

"We did that and created chances, you felt that the goal was coming. It doesn't half help when you unblock the game early. Go in at half time 0-0 and that clock starts running down.

"All three strikers have been scoring all season. We're up at the 40 mark between them. They are scoring goals and the team is creating them."

yaya

Victory took City five points clear at the top having played a game more, but Platt warned there will be tough matches ahead and they might not be pretty.

He said: "I don't think you can go 38 games and always play the sort of football we were playing earlier in the season. There are games where you have to grind out the result.

"We've a dozen games left and there will be a mixture - there will be games when things are not as fluid as they can be, but we will still have to get results."

Match Report

City v Blackburn

BaloCelebrates

Ah, the power of love. Mario Balotelli dedicated his vital first goal to girlfriend Raffaella, and Sergio Aguero continued the seduction of his serenading fans.

First Team News

Swansea away moves to 11 March

First Team News

Rovers can bite, warns Mancini

Mancini Fulham

Roberto Mancini is warning his players that the rocky road to the title is strewn with pitfalls, starting with the visit of relegation battlers Blackburn.