FA Cup: No case for defence

FA Cup: No case for defence
Referee Phil Dowd (C) speaks to Hull City's manager Steve Bruce during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England, August 31, 2013.

THIRD ROUND

BLACKBURN 1 (Scott Dann 55) MAN CITY 1 (Alvaro Negredo 45)

Manuel Pellegrini already suspected his defence was the weak link in an otherwise imperious squad. Blackburn Rovers provided the confirmation at Ewood Park last night.

Their admirable 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round earned them the debatable prize of a date at Fortress Etihad. Rovers’ cup run is still likely to end there, but Pellegrini’s defensive issues have barely begun.

His numbers didn’t add up. Three out of five let him down.

Even allowing for the inevitable resting of key performers, City’s starters made a main course meal of Blackburn’s battlers and got their just desserts.

Costel Pantilimon, Dedryck Boyata and Joleon Lescott all staked a claim for regular inclusion, but the case for their defence was painfully weak.

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