The Premier League’s two highest-scoring teams shared a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City missed the chance to go top and Manchester City’s winless away run continued.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men – 4-1 winners over Sunderland on Boxing Day as Leicester were beaten 1-0 at Liverpool – had the better of the first half, but found Kasper Schmeichel in fine form as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were denied by the Dane.
Leicester carried a threat of their own, though, and could have gone in ahead had Marc Albrighton been able to hook Christian Fuchs’ delivery into the net after Joe Hart had been taken out of the equation.
Jamie Vardy spurned an even better chance when he blazed over the target after being put through one-on-one, while the returning Sergio Aguero was uncharacteristically wayward with an excellent opening early in the second half.
The Argentina striker saw penalty appeals waved away just past the hour, only seconds before he was substituted, and Nicolas Otamendi brought another save from Schmeichel in the next attack.
Ultimately neither side could find a way through, despite having shared 74 top-flight goals between them this season, and Pellegrini’s charges remain without a win on the road in the Premier League since September.
De Bruyne had a clear sight of goal in the 17th minute, but his side-footed effort from Sterling’s cut-back was parried away by Schmeichel.
A sloppy piece of play from Aleksandar Kolarov gifted possession to Riyad Mahrez midway through the half and the in-form forward’s curling effort narrowly cleared Hart’s crossbar.
Schmeichel was called into action again a minute later when Sterling’s precise volley was tipped away from the bottom corner by the 29-year-old, who kept out the same player’s long-range strike soon after.
Leicester – whose owners laid on free drinks for the fans to celebrate a fine year – almost delivered the perfect sucker punch with two excellent chances in the dying embers of the half as a stretching Albrighton turned Fuchs’ searching cross into the side netting with Hart stranded.
Then Vardy collected a pass from N’Golo Kante, who had capitalised on Fernando’s error, but the England striker blasted his shot over.
He could have been made to pay within two minutes of the restart, but Aguero – in for Wilfried Bony – skied De Bruyne’s low cross from just a couple of yards out.
While the match fell short of the quality you might expect from a top-of-the-table clash, it still had its talking points and Aguero felt he should have had a penalty when Gokhan Inler barged into him, but referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.
Otamendi’s downward header was superbly kept out by Schmeichel from the subsequent corner as the visitors continued to push for a first away league win since their triumph at Crystal Palace more than three months ago.
Hart saved from Fuchs and substitute Bony saw his first-time effort blocked in the final 10 minutes as Leicester ended 2015 second to Arsenal on goal difference, ahead of their visitors by three points.
Key Opta stats:
– Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri chose to start with one up front rather than his usual 4-4-2 formation for only the third time in the Premier League this season.
– Sergio Aguero has failed to score in his last four games for Manchester City in all competitions after netting seven in the three directly before that.
– Manchester City have extended their winless run on the road in the Premier League to six games, something they last achieved in April 2011.
– The Citizens have scored just one goal in their last five Premier League away games.
– Leicester City failed to score at home in the Premier League for the first time in 15 games.
– Manchester City kept their first clean sheet of the season without Vincent Kompany in the line-up.
– Jamie Vardy has scored only one goal in his last five Premier League games.