Yaya Toure's second half goal was enough to see Manchester City secure all three points over Stoke City at The Etihad, in a match which saw the Potters push their title-chasing hosts until the final whistle.
Stoke had the better of the possession in the first half, but missed chances will haunt them all the way back to Staffordshire as they failed to equalise with the pressure on late in the match.
Man City started brightly and could have been ahead inside 15 minutes when Pablo Zabaleta worked his way through the Stoke defence, but Marc Wilson made a fantastic block to deny him a clear shot at goal.
The visitors' first real shot on target came from one of their main threats this season Charlie Adam as he tried his luck from 25 yards, but Joe Hart turned it around the post.
David Silva replied with a shot from the edge of the area and was met by Glenn Whelan, who was there to deny him and force a corner which ultimately came to nothing.
Stoke had their fair share of the ball before Yaya Toure and Silva ran through the Stoke defence midway through the first half, but the Ivorian could only slot his shot wide of the post.
Man City’s strike force combined in the closing stages of the first half to send Edin Dzeko through on goal, but the Bosnian international curled his shot wide of Asmir Begovic’s far post.
The hosts came out on the offensive for the second period and once again tested Stoke’s defence, with Dzeko rolling another shot wide after being played in by Alvaro Negredo.
City made two changes half-way through the second half as Jesus Navas and Stevan Jovetic replaced Fernandinho and Alvaro Negredo in an attempt to find a way past Stoke’s defence, but The Potters held firm.
Jovetic was straight into the action as he unleashed a 20-yard shot at Begovic, which the keeper fumbled but manages to safely collect at the second time of asking.
City finally broke the deadlock moments later when Aleksandar Kolarov’s found himself in acres of space and put in a that cross found Toure, who side-footed the ball past Begovic for the breakthrough.
Dzeko could have made it 2-0 when he was fed the ball three yards out by Navas soon after, but somehow he miss-kicked and knocked the ball wide.
Javi Garcia then attempted a shot from 30 yards out, which Begovic palmed around the post.
Stoke had a late chance through Man City old boy Stephen Ireland but The Potters couldn’t equalise and still await their first point and first goal at The Etihad, while City remain two points behind Arsenal in third after The Gunners completed a comfortable 4-1 rout against Sunderland.
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