City were punished as Vale, despite missing their top scorer Tony Naylor, made it four wins running and avenged a 2-0 home defeat by City in September. The Vale midfielder Andy Porter did a secure shadowing job on Georgi Kinkladze, shackling the Georgian to the extent that City's main attacking threat was cancelled out.
Uwe Rosler's early bid to open his account failed after he was denied by goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite. Nicky Summerbee later found Paul Dickov but he steered a near-post shot into the side netting. Stuart Talbot should have put Vale ahead when put through by Jan Jansson, but Ian Brightwell got back to deflect his shot away for a corner. Vale took the lead from the resulting kick when Foyle forced in Jansson's corner with a point- blank header after striking the post.
In the second half Dickov again shot into the side netting, Rosler steered another header wide before Summerbee tested Musselwhite from long-range.
Manchester City: Margetson; McGoldrick, Rodger (Whitley 52), Lomas, Symons, Brightwell, Summerbee (Creaney 70), Brown, Dickov, Kinkladze, Rosler (Kavelashvili 79).
Port Vale: Musselwhite; Aspin, Tankard, Jansson, Griffiths, Glover, McCarthy, Porter, Talbot, Foyle (Mills 85), Guppy. Substitutes not used: Walker, Stokes.
Referee: R Furnandiz (Doncaster).