Manchester City’s title hopes suffered a potentially-decisive blow after they were held by a resolute Stoke side and missed the chance to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table.
A win for City would have moved them above Tottenham and into second place but they could not find the attacking spark required to break down a well-drilled Potters side.
City boss Pep Guardiola had said before kick-off that his team could not afford any more slip-ups in their pursuit of the leaders, who remain 10 points clear of the chasing pack with 11 games left.
Guardiola’s side were sluggish before the break and, although they improved when David Silva came off the bench in the second half, he could not make the difference.
Silva had City’s best effort when he drilled a low shot a fraction wide after a one-two with Fernandinho but, despite a flurry of late chances, Stoke keeper Lee Grant’s only save came from a first-half free-kick by Aleksandar Kolarov.
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