City left the King Power Stadium with a hard-fought point following a 0-0 draw with Leicester.
The Blues looked in control for much of the game without creating any real clear-cut opportunities as both teams eventually cancelled each other out.
A draw lifts City back into third spot, three points off leaders Arsenal.
The Blues were looking to end 2015 in the same way they started it – with a victory. City breezed into the New Year 12 months ago with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Sunderland and nobody was expecting any less of a fight from Leicester in this encounter.
Much has been written about the Foxes’ superb season to date, with the ‘are they genuine title challengers?’ question in danger of becoming boring. Manuel Pellegrini was in no doubt and had wisely demanded his team treat this like any other game against a top four rival – or pay the consequences.
The hosts had nothing to prove against the Blues, going into this clash with a chance of ending the year as the Premier League leaders – City, meanwhile, could leapfrog into second spot and close the gap on Arsenal - leaders at the start of play - to one point, so there was everything to play for.
City went into the game unbeaten in their previous nine visits to Leicester – five wins and four draws – with defeat last tasted at Filbert Street in 1987. The Foxes had won three times on City’s turf during that period, but the home support must have felt their side were due a long-awaited home success.
The Blues were also keen to end a run of five Premier League away games without away success – just two points from a possible 15 was not the form of a side hoping to secure a third title in five years
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The only change from the 4-1 Boxing Day romp over Sunderland was the recall of Sergio Aguero at the expense of Wilfried Bony – otherwise it was the same starting XI that had blown away the Black Cats.
In what was a cagey opening, City were the better of the two teams, dominating possession without really hurting Leicester.
The first real chance came on 18 minutes when Bacary Sagna’s long ball found Raheem Sterling who in turn found Kevin De Bruyne on the edge of the box but the Belgian’s shot was comfortably palmed away by Kasper Schmeichel
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It was encouraging, as was the way the City defence were handling the twin threat of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez – the scourge of so many back lines this season – with the hosts’ first effort in anger not coming until Mahrez fired a shot over Joe Hart’s crossbar on 25 minutes.
At the other end, Sterling then forced a good save from Schmeichel as he chased another Sagna pass over the top before sliding a low drive towards goal that the Dane parried wide.
Just past the half-hour and Sterling fizzed another shot that Schmeichel pushed over as the Blues continued to knock on the door without reward – it seemed just a matter of when City would break the deadlock rather than if.
Even so, the Blues were handed a timely reminder that goals that win games - not possession - twice within 60 seconds as first Christian Fuch’s dangerous cross was almost turned in by Marc Albrighton at the far post and then Fernandinho lost the ball 35 yards from goal and Vardy raced clear only to poke the ball over the bar as Hart closed in.
It would have been harsh for City to have gone in at the break trailing, but the need to turn chances into goals was all-too clear as a lively first period ended goalless.
City resumed control after the re-start and should have taken the lead within two minutes when De Bruyne’s excellent low cross found Aguero in the six-yard box but his connection was too heavy and the ball flew over the bar when a deft flick was all that was required to beat the floored Schmeichel.
Yaya Toure then saw a thunderbolt blocked in the box in before N’Golo Kante sent a 20-yard shot inches wide minutes later in what was turning into an absorbing encounter
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Whoever broke the deadlock it seemed, would surely go on and win the game, though as the hour-mark passed, the Foxes seemed to building up a head of steam, looking more threatening going forward.
Aguero was replaced by Bony on 63 minutes – moments after falling under a challenge in the box – though referee Craig Pawson wasn’t interested.
Both teams continued to exchange blows at either end as the game entered the final quarter, but while the solid Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi repelled much of the home threat, so the Foxes back four threw bodies in the way of every City shot towards goal.
As it was, there were no further chances of any real note in the final minutes as both teams perhaps sensed a point was a decent result.
For the Blues, it was a solid rear-guard action, but it was ultimately another winless road trip – a run that Pellegrini will hope ends soon.