Manchester City's James Milner felt the champions were missing only the killer touch as they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at Chelsea.
City were unable to reclaim top spot in the Premier League on Sunday as they endured a frustrating time in front of goal against their title rivals at Stamford Bridge. While some may see that as further proof City are still lacking the dynamism of last season, they remain unbeaten and Milner views it as a good sign that they are disappointed with such a result.
The 26-year-old told City TV: "Any time you come away from a ground like this, against the European champions, and end up being disappointed not to get a win is a positive thing.
"We were the better side, we had the better chances and restricted them to not too many.
"I thought we played a good game and didn't quite get the three points.
"We have got things to work on. We need to take our chances - we had a number of corners and chances that didn't go our way.
"When we are on top in games and have territory and chances we are not quite putting teams to bed like we should be.
"Hopefully we can improve on that during the season. "There are positives and negatives to take out of the game."
Milner, who made his first Premier League start since being sent off at West Brom a month ago, did not feel there was anything wrong with City's approach to the game. Roberto Mancini's men now trail rivals Manchester United by a point at the summit ahead of a midweek round of fixtures which sees the champions travel to Wigan.
Milner said: "It shows mental strength because sometimes, when you have those days, it is easy to think it's not our day and sit back and let the other team into the game and have chances themselves.
"I don't think we did that. We were pretty solid and moved the ball around pretty well.
"The pitch wasn't the greatest but we tried to be positive and it just didn't happen for us at the business end."
The game was short on entertainment with Chelsea managing just one shot on target and City five. Most of the headlines were made by the home fans' negative reaction to the arrival of their new manager Rafael Benitez.
The visitors' best opportunity came when Sergio Aguero headed at Petr Cech late in the first half. Another area City shaded was the corner count, having 11 to their hosts' six.
Milner said: "When you are on top of teams you are going to have set-pieces. "We have got quality delivery with 'Kolar' (Aleksandar Kolarov) and David (Silva) and people like that. "We need to maybe come up with a few new things and make sure we attack that ball. I'm sure the goals will come."