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Manchester City Slip Up At Home Against Stoke City

Thursday 9th March 2017
Wednesday night saw Manchester City face up against Stoke City at the Etihad stadium. It was an interesting fixture even though nobody could get on the scoreline. There were chances at both ends but both sides were unable to break the deadlock.

Many people would have expected Man City to get an early lead or at least take the lead first with the game being played on home turf. However, a resilient Stoke side put in a great defensive display to put out Man City's attempts.
The Sky Blues dominated the game stat wise. Thirteen shots were attempted with the only attempt on target coming from Aleksandar Kolarov. It fell in the 25th minute which was saved by Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant. Stoke had 4 shots and 2 on target with the best chance falling to Mame Biram Diouf. However, Willy Caballero was able to save the shot.

Man City also had 8 corners and 64% possession. But, that was not enough as they couldn't force a breakthrough. In the second half, David Silva came on for Jesus Navas and Kelechi Iheanacho came on for Yaya Toure.

David Silva played a nice little one, two with Fernandinho to weave his way into the opposing box and through the Stoke defence. An out curling shot past the right-hand post was one of the best attempts in the game for Man City. Another attempt came from a corner with a headed effort from Nicolas Otamendi who headed on to the roof of the net.
High pressure was becoming more of a necessity for Man City as the clock wound down. A great display from the Stoke side with defensive duties as a priority. Players making key decisions such as Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi at the heart of the defence. Players like Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane were kept at bay in Man City's frustration.

Saido Berahino showcased his first start for the Potters since joining from Midlands rivals, West Brom in January. Although he didn't have much to do against Man City, he looked as though he did what he could. Berahino however, didn't make any real impact on the game. It will be a great confidence boost for him and it shows that Mark Hughes has future plans for him.

Three attempts on target throughout the whole game doesn't sound very entertaining but it was interesting, to say the least. It was quite odd seeing how Man City played. Not as urgent in attack and the high pressing didn't really get turned on until the final third of the game.

Mark Hughes will definitely be the happier manager after the 0-0 result. He was stated in an interview saying “It was a great team performance from us tonight”.

This is now Stoke's second clean sheet in two games after a 2-0 win against Middlesbrough.

Pep Guardiola and Man City will be kicking themselves for not taking advantage of Stoke as they miss out on an extra 2 points. An opportunity missed to overtake Spurs for 2nd place. Chelsea now sit 10 points ahead of both Man City and Spurs.

It could be a major blow for Guardiola's reputation and it begs the question, are Man City's title hopes already over?
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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