Manchester City 0, Stoke City 0: Pep Guardiola refuses to be drawn on title hope after City miss chance to overtake Tottenham

Ross McLean
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Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League
City missed the chance to go above Tottenham into second place (Source: Getty)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola dodged questions over whether his side had blown any remaining Premier League title hope after failing to overcome a resolute Stoke.

Victory would have moved City above Tottenham into second place and reduced runaway leaders Chelsea’s advantage at the summit to eight points.

The stalemate moved Guardiola’s side level with Spurs but they remain third, 10 points adrift of Antonio Conte’s champions-elect with 11 games remaining.

Asked whether any chance of reeling Chelsea had now evaporated, Guardiola said: “Think about the next match. For the last month, month and a half, we’ve just focused on the next one. That’s what we have to do.”

Despite the setback, which extended City’s unbeaten run to 10 matches across all competitions, Guardiola praised the level of grit his side showed in trying to overcome a stubborn Stoke.

“We didn’t win, but we didn’t lose,” he added. “We created a lot of chances and they didn’t. We tried. We made everything and fought like never before.”

A draw saw Stoke build on Saturday’s victory over Middlesbrough and kept the Potters ninth on 36 points. Manager Mark Hughes, a predecessor of Guardiola at City, revelled in his side’s industry.

“We didn’t rely on luck,” he said. “We made our own luck and were difficult to break down. We were all disappointed with result at Spurs [4-0 in their last away match] and it hurst us as a group. You can see what it meant tonight and that shows the honesty of the group.”

Playmaker David Silva wasted City most presentable chance as he dragged a 71st-minute effort wide of the post after exchanging passes with Fernandinho.

A flurry of late opportunities came and went, although Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant’s only real employment was to repel a first-half free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov.