Man City woes continue against 10-man Stoke
Second-bottom Stoke had not won for nine league games and had not scored at home in their previous four but they produced a resilient performance after having Rory Delap sent off after 38 minutes for kicking at winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.
They scored the game's only goal in first-half injury time with an excellent James Beattie header from a Matthew Etherington cross.
Stoke spent almost the entire second half packed in their own half as City launched wave after wave of attacks.
However, despite the presence of the likes of Robinho and big-money new signings Craig Bellamy and Nigel De Jong, there was little creativity about their work and they were largely reduced to long-range shots, mostly high over the bar.
Earlier this month Mark Hughes's team were knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Championship Nottingham Forest and then suffered a series of off-field setbacks, including their failure to sign Kaka from AC Milan.