Stoke and Manchester City both left the Britannia Stadium frustrated as they battled out a 0-0 draw on Saturday.
The hosts had the better of the chances but their finishing lacked accuracy. Kenwyne Jones was guilty of missing three good opportunities, and when he did manage to get an effort on target, he found Joe Hart in good form.
Manchester City struggled to get going throughout the match and, despite introducing Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas after the break, failed to properly test Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal.
Manuel Pellegrini made six changes from the side that beat Hull City before the international break, with Stevan Jovetic starting for the first time - the Montenegrin lining-up in support of Alvaro Negredo in attack.
The hosts were unchanged from their away victory at West Ham, meaning Jones was again preferred as the lone striker ahead of Peter Crouch.
Manchester City had a lot of the early possession but looked disjointed in attack and were nearly punished by Jonathan Walters after 13 minutes.
The Ireland international escaped the attentions of Matija Nastasic to meet a Charlie Adam cross, but could only head wide from five yards.
Stoke were spending a lot of time without the ball but were still creating the better chances in front of goal, and Jones should have opened the scoring after half an hour.
The forward robbed Samir Nasri inside his own half but fired straight at Hart, who saved well with his legs.
Adam then had Stoke’s third good opportunity in the closing stages of the half, but the former Liverpool man chose to hit a long-range effort that Hart held onto easily rather than play in a team-mate.
The visitors’ best chance came shortly after when Aleksandar Kolorov sent a free-kick well over the bar after Robert Huth had fouled Jovetic.
A scrappy start to the second half saw both sides struggling to get control of the game, but Stoke continued to waste good opportunities.
Adam was involved again with a perfect cross from the left wing that Jones should have buried.
The striker drifted off the back of Nastasic to meet the floated delivery inside the six yard box but failed to test Hart as he headed over.
Manchester City found it tough to break down the well-organised Stoke defence, and Jovetic had their first chance of the second half just before the hour but he could only nod wide.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock in the remaining 10 minutes and were forced to settle for their fifth successive Premier League draw at the Britannia Stadium.
|Coach: M. Hughes|
for C. Adam 70'
for M. Etherington 70'
for K. Jones 77'
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