Pellegrini made six changes in his lineup and it really showed as City lacked any real attacking fluidity and appeared lost for ideas when they finally got the ball into the final third. Stoke deserve credit for doing their job and bottling up City's rare chances, but it was hardly attractive football from either side.
Stoke did have the best chance of the half though in the 14th minute when Jonathan Walters mishit a close range header. Charlie Adams made a nice run on the right wing and lifted a short cross to Walters who was all alone right in front of Joe Hart. Unfortunately for The Potters, Walters couldn't get the ball on target and sent his effort wide of the far post.
Stoke improved in the second half and put City under heavy pressure, still the goal remained elusive.
Kenwyne Jones had a chance to put Stoke ahead in the 55th minute after towering over a City defender to get his head on a cross. The goal was open for Jones but he couldn't get the ball down and sent it over the crossbar.
Less than two minutes after entering the match in the 69th minute, new Stoke signing Marko Arnautovic nearly helped put Stoke in the lead when he sent a low cross in front of Hart that was deflected on frame by a City defender. Joe Hart was up to the task though making a reflex save to swat the ball away. Jones's follow-up was skied over the bar.
There was a bit of a scary moment in the final minutes when Stoke's Robert Huth took an accidental knee to the head and dropped unmoving to the ground. After a couple minutes Huth walked off the pitch and immediately returned to play, despite the fact he looked quite dazed.
Stoke City: Begovic, Pieters, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron, Wilson, N'zonzi, Adam (Arnautovic 69'), Walters, Etherington (Ireland 69'), Jones (Crouch 77').
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Garcia, Nastasic, Milner, Nasri (Navas 73'), Rodwell, Touré, Jovetic (Aguero 63'), Negredo.