Norwich City recorded a vital point on Saturday as they continued their pursuit of survival in the Premier League.
John Ruddy was called upon to make a vital save to deny Sergio Aguero's well-struck free-kick on 15 minutes before producing another clever stop to keep out the Argentine when he fired on target from an angle just before the half-hour mark.
Late in the first half, Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford hit a sweet half-volley which struck the post before falling fortuitously for City keeper Joe Hart prior to Matt Jarvis' deflected shot which bounced wide of the mark in stoppage time.
There were chances of note in the second half although Graham Dorrans had a great chance to win it for Norwich only to fire well wide after being played in by Dieumerci Mbokani.
In the end, it was a well-earned point for the Norfolk club who are now two points from safety, although the Black Cats have a game in hand, but they lost talented winger Nathan Redmond to an ankle injury.
- Can more spirited displays like this see Norwich avoid the drop? How much will they miss Redmond if he is sidelined?
- Is City's title chase now over? 12 points, even with a game in hand, will be tough to make up.
Norwich next meet West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday as City prepare for Tuesday's Champions League Round of 16 second leg with Dynamo Kiev prior to Sunday's home derby with Man Utd.
Thanks for the messages and wishes. Hoping it's not as bad as it seemed but will find out more over the course of the weekend/next week
— Redz (@NathanRedmond22) March 12, 2016
A fantastic result today! Team worked their socks off and got a much deserved point! Great atmosphere also! #OTBC
— Matt Jarvis (@MrMattJarvis) March 12, 2016
Norwich boss Neil on the relegation battle:
"I didn't need that performance to strengthen my belief.
"I believe we're good enough to do it. What it will do is help the squad and the fans and everybody connected with Norwich.
"We need to win games. It's as simple as that."
Man City's Pellegrini on title hopes:
"Every time you drop points it can be more difficult, but that will not change my mind.
"If you mathematically have a chance to do it, you must always think you can do it."
*Thanks to Opta
0 - Manchester City didn't attempt a single shot on target in the second half against Norwich City. Disappointment.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 12, 2016