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The frustration game

Peter Crouch summed up the feeling inside the camp in one word after Saturday's goalless draw against City.

Peter Crouch summed up the feeling inside the camp in one word after Saturday's goalless draw against City.

We opened the 2010-11 Barclays Premier League campaign with a stunning first half performance against a team expected to challenge for the title.

But we were denied time and again by another stunning performance - from City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Hart produced world-class save after world-class save to deny Crouchy, Tom Huddlestone, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Jermain Defoe.

When he was finally beaten by Gareth Bale, the woodwork came to the rescue and then Vincent Kompany blocked Aaron Lennon's goalbound follow up.

Somehow it stayed 0-0 though and the second half was a more even encounter, although Bale missed the chance of the game with five minutes left.

"Frustration's the word, isn't it?" said Peter, who started the ball rolling as Hart turned aside his early header.

"In the first half they were all hands to the pump to keep us out and Joe Hart was in magnificent form, producing save after save.

"It wasn't for lack of trying on our part. We played really well. We pressed them, created chances and limited them to very little, I can't remember them having a shot on goal.

"It's frustrating not to win the game and we were really unlucky not to do so, but the performance was very encouraging.

"We all wanted to start the season with three points but it wasn't to be - but we have to take heart from that performance.

"If we play like that every week we'll get results and finish at the top end of the table."

Crouchy admitted that it felt like being one of those days after Hart's first couple of saves.

"You knew straight away that he was going to be unbeatable, he was world-class," he added.

"He was under a lot of pressure because the manager selected him over Shay Given but he came out and played exceptionally well."