Premier League - Walters wasteful as City escape from Stoke with a draw

Britannia Stadium, Premier League - Stoke City 0 Manchester City 0

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini (Reuters)

Jon Walters somehow headed wide from five yards out as Stoke City and Manchester City contested a spirited 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium that the home side should have won.

Mark Hughes's Stoke continue to produce a brand of passing football alien to former manager Tony Pulis's willingness to fraternise with the long ball. They had the better chances throughout the afternoon, but paid a heavy price for lacking a cutting edge in front of the visiting goal.

The pick of several Stoke chances fell to Irish forward Walters on 12 minutes, but he somehow nodded wide of goal from Charlie Adam's cross when it looked easier to score with England goalkeeper Joe Hart badly exposed.

Manuel Pellegrini made six changes from the 2-0 win over Hull City ahead of Manchester City's Champions League match against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic on Tuesday night. It showed as the visiting side lacked cohesion despite handing a debut to Stevan Jovetic.

Having lost to Cardiff City 3-2 three weeks ago, Pellegrini's side remain without an away win in the Premier League after four matches that has earned them seven points and fourth place in the standings.

KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH - JOVETIC DEBUT, NO KOMPANY: Stevan Jovetic made his competitive debut for City among six changes for the visiting side. Captain Vincent Kompany, who has been sidelined since suffering a groin injury in the season-opening game, is nearing a return but did not play at Stoke, while fellow defender Micah Richards remained out with a hamstring complaint and left-back Gael Clichy also has a minor knock. New signing Martin Demichelis was also ruled out with a knee injury suffered in training. Therefore, Javi Garcia tucked in at centre-back.

12' - BAD MISS: Glorious chance for Stoke, but Jon Walters somehow nods wide from five yards out. What an awful miss! Should have been the opener from a wonderful Charlie Adam cross.

30' - HART CLASS: Real chance for Kenwyne Jones! In on goal for Stoke, but drives the ball straight at the goalkeeper. Hart stands tall to make the stop. Nasri bleeding possession.

48'- WALTERS WOE: Walters inches away from connecting with the Geoff Cameron ball across goal. So close to an opening goal. Fine play by Stoke.

58' - CITY THREATEN: Nasri with the free-kick, but Jovetic rises only to head wide. Was a real chance. A change coming for City with Sergio Aguero set to replace Jovetic.

69' - HART REFLEX ACTION: Ball breaks off Nastasic, but Hart throws himself to the left to make a brilliant reflex save. Jones knocks then rebound over.

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KEY STATS

Stoke have extended their unbeaten run against Man City to seven Premier League home matches – last losing at home to Man City in 1981, 3-1.

Mark Hughes makes point. The Stoke manager had lost three of his four previous Premier League clashes with Manchester City since he was fired by the club but when Hughes was Blackburn manager, he won four and lost none of eight meetings with City.

Infostrada

TALKING POINT: What condition are City in before hosting United? While United were not wholly convincing against Crystal Palace earlier in the day, the same could be said for City in Stoke. Always a risk to make six changes despite overseeing such a big squad, City did not perform to Manuel Pellegrini's expectations. They were lucky to escape with a point. Expect changes for the arrival of United next Sunday.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Robert Huth (Stoke City): Suffered a head knock late on, but coped well with the threat of Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic.

PLAYER RATINGS

Stoke City: Begovic 7, Cameron 7, Shawcross 8, Huth 8, Pieters 7, Walters 5, Nzonzi 7, Adam 7, Wilson 6, Etherington 7, Jones 6. Subs: Arnautovic 6, Crouch 6, Ireland 6.

Manchester City: Hart 8, Zabaleta 7, Garcia 5, Nastasic 6, Kolarov 6, Milner 6, Rodwell 5, Toure 6, Nasri 5, Negredo 6, Jovetic 5. Subs: Navas 6, Aguero 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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