Manchester City’s missed the chance to join rivals Manchester United at the Premier League summit after being held to a goalless draw by West Ham at Upton Park.
It was an afternoon of frustration for Roberto Mancini’s men as the failed to break down a well drilled Hammers side and slipped to third in the table.
Opposite number Sam Allardyce will be more than pleased with his players but will be cursing the decision of the officials to rule out Kevin Nolan’s early strike for offside.
Nolan did superbly to slam Mark Noble’s free kick past Joe Hart, with replays showing him to be onside, before the assistant referee raised his flag.
Mohamed Diame then fizzed a shot over the bar after cutting in from the left flank before Yossi Benayoun clattered the crossbar after connecting with Matt Jarvis’ cross.
The home side continued to press and Andy Carroll should have done better than firing wide of the post from Benayoun’s layoff with England boss Roy Hodgson watching from the stands.
City finally started to show signs of life towards the end of the half but Mario Balotelli wasted their best opportunity, firing well over from Carlos Tevez’s free kick.
After the break the visitors started to exert some influence and Tevez forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into his first serious save after meeting Edin Dzeko’s deflected cross.
The Argentinian striker was becoming more of a threat to his former club and should have scored instead of firing following build up play, before Gareth Barry fired wide.
Sergio Aguero was sent on for a typically moody Balotelli but the striker failed to provide the spark City required, with his fierce effort easily palmed away by Jaaskelainen.