Manchester City 0 Liverpool 0

Manchester City and fellow Champions League hopefuls Liverpool played out a dour and disjointed goalless draw at Eastlands.

The eagerly awaited clash between the fourth and fifth-placed teams proved a disappointing affair as neither looked like a side ready to compete amongst Europe's elite.

City had the more clear-cut chances, but they rarely looked like inflicting a first defeat on Liverpool in ten matches, a sequence stretching back to 2005.

Liverpool's form on the road remains a worry as they have won only once in their last seven away matches having failed to find the net in five of those games.

Roberto Mancini rang the changes making five to the starting line-up from their last league match at Stoke five days earlier.

Returning to the team were Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, Vincent Kompany, Wayne Bridge and Pablo Zabaleta.

Liverpool, unchanged from their last league game at Arsenal, made the brighter start forcing a succession of corners without ever threatening keeper Shay Given.

It was not until late in the half that City began to look a danger as Zabaleta and Adam Johnson both had decent strikes at goal.

But the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 44th minute when central defender Martin Skrtel headed narrowly wide from six yards following a Steven Gerrard corner.

It took over an hour before either keeper was tested and then Jose Reina pulled off a superb stop to keep out a 25-yard drive from Emmanuel Adebayor.

City pressed hard for a winner as Adebayor had two great chances late in the game. He burst clean through on goal only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle from Skrtel and then he headed narrowly over from inside the six-yard box.

Not even the late introduction of substitute Fernando Torres, back after a month-long absence, 15 minutes from time, could break the deadlock in a match which turned out to be a non-event.

And the only area where Liverpool outscored City was in bookings as they had six players cautioned, which will result in an FA fine.