Jan 4 (Reuters) - Premier League title favourites Manchester City were reduced to 10 men on Saturday as they survived a torrid examination of their class by lower league Blackburn Rovers in a feisty 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round.
City, unexpectedly beaten by Wigan Athletic in last season’s FA Cup final, went ahead with a 45th minute goal by Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, but Championship side Blackburn levelled 10 minutes later through a similar close-range effort by Scott Dann.
Manuel Pellegrini’s much-changed team had further chances to score but also rode their luck and needed to bring on Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure for Brazilian Fernandinho to retain control. Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata was dismissed in the 85th minute following two yellow card offences.
Blackburn pushed hard for a winner in the closing minutes, but City replaced Spanish winger David Silva with Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta and hung on for a replay back at the Etihad Stadium. (Reporting by Tim Collings, editing by Pritha Sarkar)