Gareth Barry admitted that the tension surrounding the battle for the final Champions League spot put paid to any chance of a spectacle in a drab stalemate against Liverpool.
The goalless draw between the teams placed fourth and fifth in the table at the start of the day provided few thrills for a frustrated sell-out crowd at the City of Manchester Stadium.
City midfielder Barry admitted: "It was one of those games with no real chances. There was a lot at stake and you could tell. We are slightly disappointed not to win as the home team.
"But anyone watching the game would sense that neither team wanted to lose. There was so much to lose if the other team got three points. It was very tactical out there.
"Shay Given only had one shot to save, and Pepe Reina only had the one shot from Emmanuel Adebayor. It was just so tight, because nobody on that pitch wanted to lose the game.
"You have to show Liverpool respect. They are not having as good a season as they would like, but they are still a hard team to beat. We will hopefully be able to build on a solid point."
One of the few incidents in the game saw Barry caught on the ankle by a rash challenge from Javier Mascherano, who had already been shown a yellow card by referee Peter Walton.
But England man Barry said: "I was facing the other way, so I didn't even see who it was. It was just a kick, it's nothing. I'm fine."
He also shrugged off midweek stories about a fall-out between manager Roberto Mancini and striker Craig Bellamy, who came off the bench for the latter stages against his old club.
Barry said: "We've had headlines all season. We're a club that's in transition and have spent a lot of money to reach the top, so we are going to be news. Headlines come with the territory.
"There was a slight difference in opinion, not a row. The manager and Craig Bellamy are both winners, and they both have strong opinions. That's got to be good for the club."