BLACKBURN Rovers were unable to pull off an FA Cup upset as they were beaten 5-0 at Manchester City in tonight's third-round replay.

Rovers held City for much of the first half but fell behind on the stroke of half-time.

Undeservedly in front, Manuel Pellegrini's men used their fire power to full advantage after the restart as Alvaro Negredo scored his second before Edin Dzeko, with a brace of his own, and the fit-again Sergio Aguero got in on the act.

Rovers were without injured top-scorer Jordan Rhodes (foot) and captain Scott Dann (groin) while goalkeeper Paul Robinson was forced off at half-time.

Negredo put City ahead in the 45th minute as he headed in a cross from Fernandinho.

The Spaniard then doubled his team’s advantage two minutes after the break when he lifted the ball over substitute keeper Simon Eastwood.

Dzeko swept in an unstoppable effort to make it 3-0 in the 67th minute and Aguero needed only a minute to add a fourth after coming on as a substitute on his return from injury.

Dzeko completed the scoring 11 minutes from time with a delicate finish from another Jesus Navas cross.

Rovers boss Gary Bowyer handed a late debut to 16-year-old substitute Connor Mahoney, a recent arrival from Accrington Stanley.

Bowyer said: "It was 5-0 and it will be 5-0 in the papers so it's not harsh because I think the finishing was clinical from them and you have to admire that.

"But I was nothing but proud of our players for how they came out and had a good go.

"A lot has been said and written about the mentality of our football club over the last couple of years but they played with their back up and they showed desire to keep going.

"We had a 16-year-old come on and make his debut, we had a 19-year-old at right-back and several 22-year-olds so the future's starting to look a little bit better for us but we've got a lot of work to do in the Championship for the remainder of the season."

Bowyer confirmed former England number one Robinson has sustained a hamstring injury which will be assessed in the morning.

Rovers hope Rhodes and Dann will return for Saturday's crucial Championship clash at Nottingham Forest.

City manager Pellegrini, whose quadruple-chasing side have now scored an incredible 99 goals in all competitions this season, said: "I'm really happy but I really think the difference between the two teams was not five goals.

"It was a really strong team, Blackburn played very well, we didn't find space.

"It was very important for us to score that goal in the last minute.

"The second half we had space and we had a lot of opportunities to score.

"But congratulations to Blackburn because it was a very difficult team."

For a full match report see tomorrow's Lancashire Telegraph.

City: Pantilimon, Richards (Huws 77), Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy, Navas, Garcia, Fernandinho (Kolarov 46), Milner, Dzeko, Negredo (Aguero 72). Subs not used: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Lopes.

Booked: Milner, Kolarov.

Goals: Negredo 45, 47, Dzeko 67, 79, Aguero 73.

Rovers: Robinson (Eastwood 46), Henley, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr, Cairney, Taylor, Lowe, Williamson (Mahoney 89), Marshall, Campbell (King 59). Subs not used: Olsson, Rochina, Dunn, Gestede.

Booked: Campbell.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Attendance: 35,000.