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A forgettable afternoon for City, in which they were left hanging on at times, ended on a low five minutes from the end when Boyata was shown a second yellow card for upending Blackburn striker DJ Campbell.
The frustration for Rovers was that they could not work Pantilimon, with Dann's free header from a corner their best effort but easily claimed.
Rovers skipper Scott Dann earned a replay as he cancelled out Alvaro Negredo's opener in a game which saw Dedryck Boyata dismissed late on.
The pace of the game noticeably increased as Taylor put another Blackburn chance over.
The 34 year old has now fully recovered after suffering a blood clot on the lung last year and his initial reintroduction was gentle as the visitors made a sluggish start.
City's cause was not helped as Boyata upended Campbell to earn his second yellow card.
Rovers refused to lie down, though, and hauled themselves level in similar circumstances 10 minutes into the second half, with Rudy Gestede powering a header goalwards from a set piece which Costel Pantilimon could only spill into the path of Dann to turn home.
Rovers pushed again before the break but Gestede failed to connect with a headed chance and Taylor shot over.
Gestede rose high to meet a Ben Marshall corner with a powerful header and Pantilimon could not hold it. Dann rushed in to sweep past him from close range.
Rovers poured forward again but the impressive Tom Cairney sent a good shot narrowly wide from distance.
Championship hopefuls Blackburn started positively enough on home soil and had chances to take the lead through Dann and Chris Taylor but saw all of their hard work undone on the stroke of half time.
City's most notable change again came in goal as Pantilimon replaced rested England No.1 Joe Hart.
The manner in which the goal was conceded perhaps led to what seemed a frank exchange of views between Grant Hanley and Taylor as the players left the field at the interval.
Rovers also made a change in goal, as one of Hart's England predecessors in Paul Robinson returned for his first game for 13 months.
Blackburn Rovers will get another shot at securing the scalp of Manchester City, with the two sides playing out a 1 1 draw at Ewood Park in the third round of the FA Cup.
The reasons were understandable but questions could be asked of Pellegrini's continuing rotation of the two keepers after an indifferent display from the Romanian.
Navas came on for Negredo and brought another fine save out of Robinson, who also spilled but re gathered another effort from Dzeko.
Rovers, despite leaving star striker Jordan Rhodes on the bench, were positive and Gestede troubled Joleon Lescott early on.
City slowly began to take control of the game midway through the first half and Robinson twice came out bravely to thwart Negredo.
Rovers came back fired up and earned reward as they grabbed an equaliser in the 55th minute.
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Manuel Pellegrini had vowed prior to kick off that he would be taking the competition seriously, and the City boss was true to his word as he named a Adidas Neo Gold Shoes
FlickedCity punished them by snatching the lead themselves on the stroke of half time as Dzeko flicked on a Silva corner and Negredo turned in his 15th of the season.
Blackburn v Man City
Fernandinho shot straight at Robinson from outside the box and Silva spurned a glorious chance when he scooped over from a Boyata cut back.
Blackburn were undeterred and sensed an opportunity to pull off a shock.
starting XI which included the likes of Fernandinho, David Silva and Negredo.
IntensityCity, with a Capital One Cup semi final against West Ham United coming up next Wednesday, made seven alterations and perhaps paid the Adidas Originals Low Trainers price with a loss of intensity.
Edin Dzeko was allowed to glance on an outswinging corner and Spanish hit man Negredo ghosted around the back post to convert a cushioned volley from close Adidas Neo X Lite
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Lescott also needed to scramble back to break up another attack as City clung on.
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