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What the Media Says

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Media react to City's goalless draw with Stoke

SO CLOSE: Aguero reacts to a late chance for the Blues.

SO CLOSE: Aguero reacts to a late chance for the Blues.

The press have had their say on Manchester City’s draw with Stoke – a game that probably won’t live too long in the memory.

It was a frustrating night for Pep Guardiola’s side, who dominated the second half but just couldn’t find a breakthrough against the stubborn Potters, led by former City boss Mark Hughes.

Richard Jolly, writing for the Guardian, believes the game failed to set pulses racing, with Stoke’s desire to sit back and defend making it difficult for City to produce their free-flowing best.

Jolly writes: "Agüero led Manchester City for the first time under Pep Guardiola but his scoring run came to an abrupt end as, after the drama of recent weeks at the Etihad came a dullness that suited both Stoke - who belied their wretched record against the top teams this season with a display of defiance - and Chelsea.

"Stoke had been the first to threaten. Erik Pieters delivered a left-wing cross and Mame Biram Diouf, scorer of the winner on this ground three seasons ago, slid in for a shot that Willy Caballero palmed away.

"It was an exception to the rule in a pattern of possession from Manchester City, with Stoke camped behind the ball, challenging the favourites to break them down."

The BBC’s Chris Bevan says City have started a season-defining week in stuttering fashion – but believes the upcoming games with Middlesbrough and Monaco give them hope of winning silverware this season.

"Silva had City's best effort when he drilled a low shot a fraction wide after a one-two with Fernandinho but, despite a flurry of late chances, Stoke keeper Lee Grant's only save came from a first-half free-kick by Aleksandar Kolarov," Bevan writes

"City are still, in theory at least, chasing silverware on three fronts and head to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Saturday before travelling to Monaco in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"It is a pivotal week in Pep Guardiola's first season in English football, but this result means it has started in frustrating fashion.”

Meanwhile, the Sun’s Martin Blackburn focused on the impact David Silva made from the bench.

City’s Spanish magician was given a rest initially but was then brought on as the Blues chased a winner.

And Blackburn believes his introduction gave City added impetus.

“Man City vamped up the pressure with 30 minutes left on the clock and the introduction of David Silva sparked life into the home side," he writes

“Aguero then came within inches of latching onto Kevin de Bruyne’s cross before Silva’s rasping shot flew wide of the post via a deflection.”

And it's a theme the Mail's Ian Ladyman continued, saying“City were pressing Stoke hard at the end of what was a rather joyless game and with the run of the ball they may have grabbed a winning goal at the death. Certainly City were much better once David Silva had been brought off the bench with half an hour to go.”

That's all for today's media roundup - see you same time, same place tomorrow! 

Match Report

Man City held to Stoke stalemate

SEE YOU LATER: Sane escapes the attention of Mame Biram Diouf.

Stubborn Stoke held Man City to goalless draw on a frustrating evening at the Etihad Stadium.

City, who have been in such commanding form of late, tried desperately to spark a performance but could not find a way through Mark Hughes’ committed and well organised side.

Picture Special

Action from Man City v Stoke

Picture Special

City and Stoke halt to a goalless draw