Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 0.
Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester City
Bottom club Aston Villa held leaders Manchester City to a goalless draw in Remi Garde's first game as manager.
Displaying a new-found defensive solidity, the hosts restricted City well although Raheem Sterling should have scored with a close-range header.
Fernando saw a late header hit the bar for the visitors, while substitute Fabian Delph's low shot rolled just wide.
Villa were less effective going forward and did not manage a shot on target.
However, they will welcome their first point since August against a free-scoring City side who were held to their second successive 0-0 draw away from home in the Premier League.
The result ends a disastrous run of seven straight league defeats for the Villans, while Manuel Pellegrini's side remain level on points with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League following the Gunners' 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Did City miss an attacking spearhead?
Manchester City had 13 shots on goal in total - 10 of which came in the second half - but far too often they appeared to lack a figurehead up front.
Wilfried Bony was substituted with a hamstring injury after 25 minutes, but rather than send on a like-for-like striking replacement in Kelechi Iheanacho they pushed Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne further forward and put Bony's replacement Jesus Navas out wide.
They still created enough chances to win the game, but a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and some new manager luck denied them.
Sterling will be disappointed not to score when clean through, but the England forward elected to cut inside on to his right foot and that allowed two defenders to get back and clear the danger.
The £49m signing also saw a point-blank header hit goalkeeper Brad Guzan on the forehead and deflect wide, while De Bruyne stabbed wide following a good cross from Navas.
City almost nicked it when former Villa captain Delph, who was booed when he came on, went close moments after Fernando had struck the bar in a frenetic end to the game.
Rude manners from Gestede?
Rudy Gestede provided more attacking spark for Aston Villa in a six-minute cameo at the end than the rest of his team-mates put together.
He angered City when he returned the ball to Joe Hart via a heavy throw-in and the goalkeeper could only deflect it wide for a corner.
The striker ignored City's reaction and, from the resulting corner, shot just over the bar.
Man of the match - Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
The stats that matter
- Aston Villa have failed to score in six of their last eight league meetings with Man City.
- City have lost just one of their past eight away Premier League games (W5 D2), keeping six clean sheets in that run.
- However, City are winless in three Premier League away games (D2 L1).
- The Villans kept their first PL clean sheet since the opening day of the season, and first at home this season.
- Villa failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a Premier League match since August 2014 (v Newcastle).
- Man City have allowed their opponents just 28 shots on target this season, fewer than any other team in the Premier League.
- Villa kept their first clean sheet against Man City since January 2011.
What the managers said
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde: "It was a nice experience and a fantastic atmosphere. It was a tough game. I can be vey happy with my team today, I saw smiles on their faces.
"When you play with sadness it does not help you. I tried in the three training sessions we had to deliver my message. Nobody expected we were going to score two or three goals. The difference between the two teams before was huge. Making sure we were well organised defensively was my priority.
"Some of the players who didn't start today had problems during the week. Nobody will play because he's French or Spanish or British. I saw in training how good or bad they were."
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "We're disappointed with the draw. I think we did enough to win the game. They had just one shot on our goal, we had three or four clear chances to score.
"Villa defended very well with nine or 10 players. We tried to break that line. Two or three of our chances were unlucky. This happens in football.
"Without Bony and without Sergio Aguero we don't have a player who plays inside the box. We have to try and work without them."
Aston Villa have a difficult, but winnable, couple of games ahead of them in November. They visit Everton after the international break on 21 November before welcoming Watford the following week.
It is also a big month for Manchester City, who play Liverpool on 21 November before facing Juventus and Southampton, although the two Premier League games are at home.
- 1GuzanBooked at 90mins
- 24C Sánchez
- 25GilSubstituted forN'Zogbiaat 65'minutes
- 19J AyewSubstituted forGestedeat 84'minutes
- 9SinclairSubstituted forBacunaat 72'minutes
- 30OtamendiBooked at 39mins
- 17De Bruyne
- 42Y TouréSubstituted forDelphat 78'minutes
- 7SterlingSubstituted forIheanachoat 84'minutes
- 14BonySubstituted forNavasat 25'minutes
- Craig Pawson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester City 0.
Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Fabian Delph (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Fernando (Manchester City) hits the bar with a header from very close range. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jordan Amavi.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jordan Amavi.
Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jordan Veretout with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Joe Hart.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Charles N'Zogbia (Aston Villa) because of an injury.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Rudy Gestede replaces Jordan Ayew.
Substitution, Manchester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Raheem Sterling.
Substitution, Manchester City. Fabian Delph replaces Yaya Touré.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna replaces Scott Sinclair.
Joe Hart (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Micah Richards (Aston Villa).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Micah Richards (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Charles N'Zogbia replaces Carles Gil.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.
Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.
Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).
Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Scott Sinclair.
Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesús Navas.
Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).
Carles Gil (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Brad Guzan.
Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross.
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.
Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.