Manchester City relinquished the chance to leapfrog Arsenal into third place as they were held to a tense goalless draw away against Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League's lunchtime kick-off.
The hosts' goalkeeper, John Ruddy, was forced into making a string of excellent saves to deny Sergio Agüero as the talented Argentine looked increasingly dangerous on the counter-attack. Patrick Bamford, on his first start for Norwich (on-loan from Chelsea), saw an well-struck effort cannon off the crossbar with Joe Hart helpless - the woodwork coming to his rescue to deny the 22-year-old striker what would've been an excellent finish.
Following his return from some troublesome injuries of late, Wilfried Bony was uninspiring in attack alongside Agüero, and the powerful Ivorian was replaced shortly before the hour mark in place of Raheem Sterling. Raheem was electric on-the-ball, sharp in possession and looked to create chances, but even the former Liverpool winger was unable to help the visitors snatch all three points in the latter stages of the second-half.
Norwich were resolute in defence, and centre-back Timm Klose especially was fantastic in helping to thwart City's frontline for large periods. The January signing from Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg, made five interceptions and four blocks during the game - the most of any player in Alex Neil's Canaries' team.
So, what does this result mean?
Norwich remain in the bottom three, but are now level on points with Sam Allardyce's Sunderland side in 17th. City meanwhile, drop two points in the title race - and could have a fight on their hands to remain in the top four with both West Ham and Manchester United intent on Champions League qualification. Consistency is the key, something that Manuel Pellegrini's men certainly haven't found this term.