Monday 1 May 2017

Manchester City v Stoke - story of the match

Mame Biram Diouf, right, stood out in Stoke's goalless draw with Manchester City
Mame Biram Diouf, right, stood out in Stoke's goalless draw with Manchester City

Manchester City missed the chance to go second in the Premier League after they were held to a goalless draw by Stoke at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side failed to find top gear all evening, with Lee Grant making only one meaningful save from Aleksandar Kolarov's first-half free-kick.

City upped the tempo after David Silva came on but Stoke's defence stood firm to earn a deserved point.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Wow.....Amazing....incredible...fantastic..I mean people just don't know how hard it is to get a point against Man City" - @GabbyLogan with tongue firmly in cheek after the Premier League fails to match the Champions League for entertainment.

STAR MAN

Mame Biram Diouf. Not one of the more high-profile names on show but Diouf was a key man for Stoke at both ends of the pitch. After forcing Willy Caballero into his one meaningful save of the match, Diouf produced a perfect sliding tackle when Leroy Sane threatened to break through. Given his input, it was perhaps no surprise he only lasted 69 minutes.

STAT OF THE MATCH

This was a first goalless draw between the sides at Manchester City since 1976. In three of the last four meetings, the Sky Blues had scored four goals.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Guardiola has had a few frustrating evenings as Manchester City manager and this was another one. His team were lethargic from the off and allowed Stoke keeper Grant, who conceded four goals in the first half against Tottenham 10 days ago, a far easier 90 minutes than he would have anticipated. Sergio Aguero struggled to get into the game and it was only when Silva came on that City really began to threaten. Stoke, on the other hand, were excellent and fully merited their point, making it a satisfying return to the Etihad for former City boss Mark Hughes.

RATINGS

Manchester City

Willy Caballero: 6

Bacary Sagna: 6

Nicolas Otamendi: 6

Aleksandar Kolarov: 6

Gael Clichy: 7

Fernandinho: 6

Yaya Toure: 6

Jesus Navas: 5

Kevin De Bruyne: 5

Leroy Sane: 5

Sergio Aguero: 6

Substitutes

David Silva: 7

Kelechi Iheanacho: 5

Stoke

Lee Grant: 6

Phil Bardsley: 6

Ryan Shawcross: 7

Bruno Martins Indi: 7

Erik Pieters: 7

Geoff Cameron: 7

Joe Allen: 7

Mame Biram Diouf: 8

Ramadan Sobhi: 6

Jonathan Walters: 6

Saido Berahino: 6

Substitutes

Ibrahim Afellay: 6

Glenn Whelan: 5

Gianelli Imbula: 5

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Middlesbrough v Manchester City (FA Cup, March 11)

Stoke v Chelsea (Premier League, March 18)

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