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Kelechi Iheanacho rues missed chance as Manchester City held by Stoke


Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho spurned a late chance against Stoke

Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho spurned a late chance against Stoke

Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho spurned a late chance against Stoke

Kelechi Iheanacho accepted he missed a great chance to snatch a late winner for Manchester City against Stoke.

The Nigerian, a late substitute, volleyed wide in the dying moments as Wednesday's rearranged Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium ended in a dull 0-0 draw.

The result cost City the chance to move to second in the table and left them 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Iheanacho said: "As a striker you need to take chances. We need to focus to put the chance (away) if it comes. It came and of course I missed it, but I focus on the next one - that is going to count."

City manager Pep Guardiola rotated his squad for the game by leaving in-form Raheem Sterling out of his matchday squad and naming David Silva and John Stones on the bench.

His side lacked spark for much of the match and only seriously tested Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant once, with an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick.

City found greater direction after the second-half introduction of playmaker Silva but the Spaniard missed a good chance while Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane and Yaya Toure were also unable to take opportunities.

Iheanacho said: "I think we didn't do anything wrong. I think we really worked hard but they really stood up because they are a good team as well. They are strong, they really fight.

"We fought to the end and to get a draw was unfortunate but I think we focus on the next games."

The title is now looking increasingly beyond City but Iheanacho is not yet giving up hope.

The 20-year-old said: "I think we believe in ourselves and what we can do as well as other teams. Chelsea are doing well as well but if we keep this standard, keep working hard, I think we will get there."

Iheanacho impressed after breaking into the first team last season but has found opportunities limited this term due to the form of Sergio Aguero and exciting new signing Gabriel Jesus.

Iheanacho, who has scored seven goals this season but not started a game since January 2, said: "We are happy to have everyone around. On my part, any time I am in I need to give 100 per cent because everyone is important in the team.

"I think I have really done well but everyone needs to improve. I need to keep working and keep improving."

Stoke reflected on a job well done, with their resilient display restoring some pride following their 4-0 capitulation at Tottenham in their last away game.

Manager Mark Hughes said: "We didn't want to produce the same showing again and right from the off we looked far more determined and committed.

"I don't actually think Lee Grant had many saves to make apart from one from a free-kick, which tells you how well we have defended to keep a very good Manchester City side at bay."

PA Media