Verdict: Manchester City 1 Blackpool 0

City continued their excellent Christmas form with a deflected Adam Johnson shot providing the only goal in a victory over Blackpool. It should have been more, but Carlos Tevez kept the game interesting by reverting to his Manchester United form – showing plenty of skill and enthusiasm without being able to finish.

Roberto Mancini’s temper was raised early on as both returning full-backs, Boateng and Kolarov, were slack in their defensive duties. This prompted the manager to have Zabaleta and Richards warming up after only a couple of minutes.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Blackpool

Hart – Produced one acrobatic save when the game was goalless, and continued to demonstrate his shot stopping in the second half. Also sharp out of his area to save Lescott’s blushes following an underhit backpass. 7

Boateng – A slow start had Mancini fuming. Grew into the game but needs to avoid the Kolarov tendency of bombing forward too early. 6

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Preview: Manchester City v Blackpool

City look to complete their second league double against a Blackpool team that has won a remarkable five away games already this season. Ian Holloway has promised to attack and for these reasons the Tangerines look a more dangerous proposition than the Villa side beaten on Tuesday. Who would have thought that at the start of the season?

It will be interesting to see who starts today following the rotation for the Villa game. Tevez is the most obvious candidate to return, yet Mancini may want to save him for Arsenal on Wednesday if there are any doubts about his tight hamstring.

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Verdict: Blackpool 2 Manchester City 3

Time to call on the cliche of a rollercoaster at Blackpool as City eventually triumphed 3-2 after a thrilling second half saw a collection of great goals. David Silva evoked memories of Georgi Kinkladze with his strike, while Carlos Tevez demonstrated hunger and a delicate touch to flick in his opener.

Roberto Mancini finally elected to field both Adebayor and Tevez in the starting line-up. It was a straightforward call with Yaya injured. The surprise was in seeing them line-up as a 4-4-2 rather than having Tevez sitting in a deeper role.

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