Roberto Mancini left the Britannia Stadium disappointed that City had to chase the game even after hosts Stoke had had a man dismissed early in the second half.
Abdoulaye Faye eventually received his marching orders for hauling back Emmanuel Adebayor, although referee Alan Wiley had originally waved away calls for an infringement. But despite their numerical advantage, City went behind to former Blue Glenn Whelan’s 73rd minute strike and only retrieved the situation when a persistent Gareth Barry poked the ball home with just four minutes of the 90 to go.
There was still time for more drama when Ryan Shawcross put the ball into the net deep into stoppage time but Mr Wiley chalked it off for a foul on Shay Given, leaving the Blues’ boss to reflect on hard night’s work in the Potteries with a point in the bag that moved City into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League table.
“In the first half the ball was in the air most of the time and it was difficult for us to play. We had to fight, it was the only way to play. We were better after the break, but when it was 11 v 10 we should have created more chances. We should have got it down the channels for Shaun or Adam, but too often we played it down the middle.
“I made a change by bringing Shaun on and pushing Gareth to left back, but we should have been more aggressive to try to win the game. We were too quiet at times and we had some good chances to win this game.
“Sometimes football is like this, we made mistakes but in the end we got a goal when we needed it. But this was two points less than what we wanted. Fourth is not a bad position, but it would have been better with a win. Now we must recover, I hope we can come back and win in the cup next week but tonight, we should have looked for two more points than we got.”