After their mind-boggling recent spending Manchester City were ripe for a fall on Saturday but they responded with a 2-0 opening day victory at Blackburn Rovers. Manager Mark Hughes is under pressure to deliver after the massive investment of the club's Arab owners led by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayad al Nahyan and the arrival of players including Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz. "Many people might have been looking to see if we were going to fall flat on our face today and I thought we gave a great response," Hughes, who has enjoyed a 100 million-pound transfer windfall during the close season, told the BBC. "You saw great character from City today. If we continue to play with the character we showed today then we will keep progressing. We stood up to the challenge and we showed the qualities we will need. "There was a lot of pressure on us and it was just great to get started." City have been tipped as challengers to the top four but their pre-season form was patchy. However, their Premier League campaign was given the perfect start by Adebayor, the Togo striker signed from Arsenal, who scored a dazzling opener after three minutes at Ewood Park. "It was an outstanding goal, a great finish," Hughes, whose side wrapped up the points with a late second from Stephen Ireland said. "I thought he was outstanding today. "All in all it was a very satisfying performance because it's difficult to come here but we were up to the challenge." Adebayor said he and his fellow new recruits were determined to repay the millions spent on them. "We have come to a club where we feel everyone loves us and you want to repay the club for that," the 25-year-old Adebayor, who cost an estimated 25 million pounds, told Sky Sports News. "We showed today that we will be hard to beat but there are a lot of games ahead and we must focus on them."
15 August 2009
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