Stoke City and Manchester City played out a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium in a game that threatened a second away defeat of the Premier League season for the visitors.
It was Mark Hughes' Stoke team that enjoyed the better chances and arguably deserved all three points Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City, who were beaten 3-2 away at Cardiff in their first league away day of his reign, struggled for fluidity in attack and once again failed to convince in defence.
Stoke's first clear chance arrived on 14 minutes and should have resulted in a goal. Jonathan Walters was found unmarked inside the six-yard box, but could only glance his header wide when it seemed more straightforward to score.
The home side had another chance just shy of the half-hour mark, but Steven Nzonzi lacked the pace required when he was set through on goal.
Soon after, Kenwyne Jones broke down the right and saw his shot well-saved by the legs of Joe Hart in the City goal.
The half-time whistle came as a relief to City, who despite having had more possession had failed to really trouble Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Stoke continued where they left off after the break. Geoff Cameron's low cross skidded across the six-yard box and was desperately close to attracting the touch it needed to divert the ball home.
City responded on the counter, however, and debutant Stevan Jovetic saw his well-struck volley fizz just over the bar.
The half continued with Stoke in the ascendancy. Jones headed over for Stoke, and then Hart made a brilliant reaction save to stop an own goal from Matija Nastasic.
There would be no breakthrough, however, and both teams would have to settle for a 0-0 draw. Few could doubt it flattered Manchester City.
Charlie Adam: B+
Adam takes a lot of criticism, but this was a performance that spoke of his strengths. His distribution was good, and he took control of central midfield and impressed throughout. In a big game against quality opposition, the Scot rose to his task and showed his experience.
Javi Garcia: C+
Garcia didn't look entirely comfortable in central defence. He made a few mistakes and failed to assert the control his manager would have liked from the position. City missed Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott in that area.
Joe Hart: B+
The City goalkeeper put in a commanding, error-free performance at the Britannia, which was exactly what his team needed. He never once looked uncomfortable from crosses and came up with a couple of good reaction saves.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!