MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (REUTERS) - Manchester City's hopes of closing the gap on the Premier League pacesetters were frustrated as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to lowly West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday (Dec 15).
City took the lead on the half hour when Raheem Sterling did well to work his way to the byline and pull the ball back to Ilkay Gundogan who expertly side-footed home.
But West Brom drew level two minutes before the break when a shot on the turn from Semi Ajayi hit City defender Ruben Dias and deflected past wrong-footed goalkeeper Ederson.
The hosts camped in West Brom's half throughout most of the second period but Slaven Bilic's side showed tremendous determination and defensive solidity.
City had late chances though - Kevin De Bruyne went close with a free-kick that West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone did well to reach while Sergio Aguero blasted wide from a good position.
Johnstone did well again in stoppage time to keep out a close-range Gundogan header and denied another great opportunity for Sterling who headed straight at the keeper.
After 12 games Pep Guardiola's City are in sixth place, five points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool who both have 25 points and face each other at Anfield on Wednesday.
West Brom are second-bottom on seven points.