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Monday 5 December 2016

City left frustrated as Toffees force them to draw a blank

Man City 0 Everton 0 

Sterling went down under a challenge from John Stones in injury time: Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff
Sterling went down under a challenge from John Stones in injury time: Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff

Raheem Sterling was controversially denied a late penalty as Manchester City were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Everton.

Sterling went down under a challenge from John Stones in injury time but referee Roger East gave nothing and City dropped two points in the Premier League title race.

City had dominated proceedings on a wet and cold night but were continually frustrated by the dogged visitors, for whom goalkeeper Tim Howard was outstanding.

City striker Sergio Aguero also had a couple of penalty appeals turned down as City, a week after losing at Goodison Park in the Capital One Cup, once again found Everton a tough nut to crack.

Injury to Seamus Coleman meant that Everton lined up with John Stones at right-back but with Phil Jagielka back from injury in the centre, the back four was not severely weakened.

City left playmaker David Silva on the bench and operated with Raheem Sterling behind Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas and Kevin De Bruyne either side.

Aguero claimed he was tripped by Mohamed Besic when he cleaned through but referee Roger East gave nothing and Sterling fired over.

At the other end Nicolas Otamendi almost turned into his own net as he stretched to cut out a Gerard Deulofeu cross while Leon Osman went close to a spectacular opener as he volleyed a Romelu Lukaku cross narrowly wide.

City started the second half brighter but Everton defended doggedly and frustrated the hosts.

There was late drama as Aguero went down trying to beat two defenders but his appeal seemed optimistic. Sterling's penalty claim seemed stronger, and fans thought East had pointed to the spot, but instead it was merely a goalkick.

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