Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko finally broke his English Premier League duck for Manchester City, as his goal helped Roberto Mancini's side to a 1-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers.
Dzeko moved to City from German club Wolfsburg in January for a fee reported to be in the region of $44.5 million but had gone nine league games without scoring before the trip to Ewood Park.
His close range 75th minute winner saw City pull four points clear of Tottenham in the fourth qualification slot for the lucrative Champions League tournament, while Rovers slipped deeper into relegation trouble.
Manager Steve Kean's side are now just one point above the drop zone, and have now gone ten games without a win.
After the game Dzeko told Sky Sports: "I'm very happy that this goal helped my team to win the game. Maybe this was one of the most important goals in the last month. I think it is a new beginning for me at City."
City dominated the first half, with Spain international David Silva hitting the post with only three minutes on the clock.
England international Gareth Barry then had a header cleared off the line by ex-Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado before Rovers' striker Jason Roberts claimed a penalty after what looked like a trip by Vincent Kompany.
Aleksandar Kolarov tested Blackburn's goal when he sent a dipping shot narrowly over the bar. Rovers' best chance came when Zimbabwean striker Benjani headed over from 12 yards.
Rovers were far better in the second half and put City under intense pressure but couldn't find a breakthrough, and they were made to pay when Dzeko came on as a substitute.
He'd only been on the field for three minutes before a Silva cross was deflected into his path and he guided the ball high into the net from eight yards out.
Martin Olsson forced City keeper Joe Hart into an injury time save from a fiercely hit free kick, but Mancini's side held out until the final whistle for their second win in a row after they defeated bitter rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal.
In Spain, Real Zaragoza climbed out of the relegation zone in La Liga with a crucial 1-0 win over rock-bottom Almeria.
Diego Alves was the unlucky party, as Florent Sinama-Pongolle's shot hit the post, then the Almeria keeper and bounced back into the net.
Zaragoza move into 16th, one point above the drop zone, while Almeria are now nine points adrift of safety.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Dzeko breaks drought as Man City beat Blackburn; Zaragoza down Almeria
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