Thomas Tuchel's unbeaten run with Chelsea extended to seven games in the Premier League on Sunday as they played out a 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Ole Gunnar Solkjaer's side remain second but are now 12 points adrift of City while the result left Chelsea outside the top four a point behind West Ham United.
Manchester United - who have lost only one of their last 20 league games - thought they were about to be offered the chance to make a breakthrough in the first half but a penalty appeal for handball against Callum Hudson-Odoi was dismissed by referee Stuart Attwell after he was instructed to consult a pitchside monitor by the video assistant referee.
Chelsea, who remain unbeaten under new manager Thomas Tuchel, had chances but United keeper David de Gea made a fine second-half save from Hakim Ziyech while opposite number Edouard Mendy saved well from Scott McTominay and Fred was narrowly off target with a long-range effort. Mendy also punched away a late effort from Bruno Fernandes.
In the end, however, this was another game to add to the list of meetings between the so-called top six that ended in stalemate.
Tuchel was adamant after the game that it wasn't a penalty or even necessary of a VAR review.
"How can this be a VAR intervention? The player in red plays the ball with the hand and then we are checking for a penalty? Why does the referee have to see this," he said.
"I've seen it on the iPad, I don't understand why the referee has to check it but I'm glad it was no penalty. That would make it even worse."
However, his United counterpart Ole Gunnar Soskjaer was less than happy with Attwell's decision.
"It was a penalty, 100% nailed on. If that's a natural position for a hand to be in when the ball comes in then I must be blind," he said after the game.
Meanwhile Former Watford, West Ham, Newcastle and Norwich boss Glenn Roeder has died aged 65 after a long illness, the League Managers Association has announced.
Roeder, who was a defender during his playing days, began his managerial career with a spell in charge at Gillingham.
He was also a coach in the England set-up when Glenn Hoddle was manager.