Manchester City took a step towards the last 16 of the Europa League by keeping a clean sheet in a goalless draw with Aris Salonika in Greece.
It was a professional performance given Aris have never be been beaten in 40 years of European competition at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium. It could have been even better but former Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko was out of luck in the second half.
City had the majority of possession in the first half but had nothing to show for their efforts. They showed their intentions early on and David Silva cracked in a shot from 20 yards after nine minutes that was turned away at the post by goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis. Then Carlos Tevez tried his luck from distance five minutes later but his effort finished wide of the target.
City stepped up the pace and Dzeko almost opened the scoring in the 16th minute. He got on the end of a driven cross from Aleksandar Kolarov but saw his close range shot gathered by the goalkeeper at the second attempt.
Juan Toja sprinted forward in the 63rd minute and fired in a shot that Joe Hart was equal to before Dzeko again came close to giving City the lead a minute later following a cross from Gareth Barry, the striker producing a towering header but Sifakis somehow managed to tip it over the top of the bar.
Play then switched back down the other end and Darcy Neto was denied by Hart as the game suddenly opened up and Barry did well to block a shot from Garbini Michel. Even though City failed to make the breakthrough, they will be expected to complete the job in the second leg.