Rafael Benitez started his managerial reign at Chelsea with a hard fought goalless draw against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

A hostile reception met the former Liverpool boss’ appointment as Roberto Di Matteo’s successor and the Blues support certainly went out of their way to make their feelings heard prior to kick off.

Opposite number Roberto Mancini will have been hoping to take advantage of a tumultuous week of upheaval on Kings Road and regain top spot from local rivals United.

In truth the match failed to live up to its star billing and the few clear cut chances in a mediocre first half fell City’s way with David Silva heading wide early on from a delicious Pablo Zabaleta¬†cross.

The Argentine full back then had an effort saved by Petr Cech before Sergio Aguero passed up the visitors best opportunity, heading straight at the Chelsea keeper after being set up by Edin Dzeko eight yards from goal.

Benitez’s arrival in West London also saw him rekindle his relationship with Fernando Torres and it was expected that he would revive the fortunes of the striker. Unfortunately for the hosts it was service as usual for Torres, who didn’t really come alive until after half time when he lashed a loose ball over the crossbar on the hour mark.

Moments of inspiration became more and more infrequent as both sets of players struggled through a heavy downpour with Cech having to be on his toes to cut out a dangerous low cross from James Milner as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Ashley Cole went nearest to scoring for the home side in the closing stages, seeing his fierce drive tipped over by City keeper Joe Hart only for referee Chris Foy to signal for a goal kick much to the England left back’s bemusement.

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