Their Chilean manager still had Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic on show at Carrow Road but they could not find the net as their team missed the chance to reach the summit following Arsenal's 5-1 defeat at Liverpool in the early game.
After a rearguard action by Norwich, Pellegrini revealed his frustration at not having his forwards firing on all cylinders.
"Our strikers Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko are not one hundred percent fit so that's very important for the team," he told reporters.
"We are frustrated because we could not win but we did all we could do, but in front of us there was a team who defended very well."
Aguero, City's top scorer with 15 league goals, is out for about a month with a hamstring injury, Negredo continues to struggle with a shoulder problem and Jovetic has just returned from a series of injuries that have limited his appearances.
City had been banging in goals at will this season, leading the league scoring charts with 68 in 23 games, and will hope their expensively-assembled forward line can get back on track in their next league game at home to Sunderland on Wednesday.
The match is a dress-rehearsal for the League Cup final on March 2 with both teams desperate to win for different reasons with Sunderland only one point above the relegation zone after losing 2-0 at home to Hull City with 10 men on Saturday.
Chelsea leapfrogged City and Arsenal to take over first place with a 3-0 victory over visiting Newcastle United but Pellegrini said his third-placed side won't be panicking.
"Every team will drop points, but we are still two points behind the leaders and we have 39 points to play for so we will continue the exactly the same," he added.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester City
- Alvaro Negredo
- Stevan Jovetic
- Edin Dzeko
- Sergio Aguero