Manchester City held by West Brom

West Brom 0 Manchester City 0

Manchester City saw their two-point advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League wiped out as they were frustrated at West Brom this afternoon.

Mario Balotelli hit the bar and had a goal disallowed but City lacked their usual bite at The Hawthorns and were forced to settle for a goalless draw.

It could even have been worse for Roberto Mancini's men as Albion rose to the challenge and were unlucky when Jerome Thomas hit the post and Shane Long headed wide.

Mancini had tried to freshen up his City side by making four changes, including recalling the mercurial Balotelli on a ground where he scored twice and got sent off last season.

Kolo Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and James Milner also came in but West Brom were not intimidated and continually frustrated their star-studded visitors.

Roy Hodgson's side were clearly buoyed by their thrilling win at Newcastle last time out and went close inside the opening three minutes.

Thomas brought the ball forward and Chris Brunt turned outside the area to fire across goal with a powerful left-foot drive.

City tried to assert their authority after that scare but had to wait patiently for chances to open up.

Samir Nasri had a volley blocked by Jonas Olsson - although the attempt was possibly going wide - and the Frenchman also shot tamely at Ben Foster from distance.

West Brom continued to pose a threat and Paul Scharner tried his luck with a low shot from 25 yards which, after a slight deflection, was turned behind by Joe Hart.

City should have taken the lead after 24 minutes when Sergio Aguero laid off for David Silva from a fine cross-field Nasri pass but the Spaniard side-footed over.

Balotelli got involved in the game when he won a free-kick outside the area and, much to his frustration, then stepped up to have a low shot deflected narrowly wide.

City then had two corners in quick succession and could have scored from the second of them when Yaya Toure put a free header wide.

City tried to pick up the tempo and Balotelli was unlucky when a Silva shot was deflected into his path and he volleyed in, only to see an offside flag raised.

West Brom threatened again on the counter-attack when Brunt found space on the left to curl in a dangerous cross for Long but Vincent Kompany slid in to make a vital interception.

Balotelli went down with a head injury after a clash with Peter Odemwingie just before the break but the Italian recovered and was soon back in the action.

Balotelli drew a foul from Olsson in a dangerous position early in the second half.

City made little from the free-kick but had a good spell of possession and Balotelli struck the top of the bar with a superb effort from 30 yards wide on the left.

West Brom may have been starved of the ball at times but looked comfortable when they had it and Kompany again got his body in the way as Odemwingie shot from 35 yards.

Long spurned a glorious chance just before the hour when City failed to clear and the ball was drilled to the back post but the Baggies striker headed wide from six yards.

City tried to show some urgency in response but Silva was unable to capitalise on some neat interplay and shot straight at Foster.

Aguero, perhaps surprised to be given onside from a Milner header, then miskicked attempting to toe-poke past Foster and Gareth McAuley cleared.

Albion had another chance from a free-kick but Brunt fired wide.

City appeared to be getting frustrated as Kolo Toure shot over and substitute Gareth Barry screwed another effort well wide.

West Brom were again unfortunate when Odemwingie teed up Thomas just outside the area and the midfielder struck a sweet shot against the foot of the post.

City changed their attack by sending on Adam Johnson and Edin Dzeko and were denied with five minutes remaining when Olsson blocked from Silva.

Dzeko found space in injury time but shot well over the bar and West Brom claimed a deserved point.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
News
Williams says: 'The reason I got jobs was because they would blow the budget on the big guys - but they only had to pay me the price of a cup of tea'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee