Manchester: Liverpool snapped Manchester City’s 23-match winning run at the Etihad as a clash between the Premier League’s top two ended 1-1 on Saturday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fine strike 10 minutes from time salvaged a point for the visitors after Erling Haaland’s 50th Premier League goal put City in front.
A share of the spoils means there remains just one point between the sides and that Arsenal could now take top spot from City if they win at Brentford later on Saturday.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made his displeasure clear at the early kick-off time on the back of an international break where both sides had players who had been in World Cup qualifying action in South America little over 72 hours ago.
Fatigue appeared a factor as the expected fireworks failed to materialise.
The best chances before the break came from City pouncing on sloppy Liverpool passes out from the back.
Alisson Becker was let off the hook by Phil Foden’s weak shot after the Brazilian gifted away possession inside his own box.
But the Liverpool goalkeeper was not so fortunate when his next sliced clearance picked out Nathan Ake.
The Dutch defender dribbled forward before picking out Haaland, who found the far corner with Alisson getting a hand to his low shot.
50th Premier League goal
Haaland’s 50th Premier League goal in his 48th appearances smashed the previous record for the quickest half century held by Andy Cole in 65 matches.
Alisson made some measure of amends by turning behind Foden’s low drive from outside the box that was arrowing into the bottom corner.
At the other end, Darwin Nunez was Liverpool’s biggest threat as Mohamed Salah failed to build on his impressive record against City.
Ederson clawed away Nunez’s first-half header and turned a powerful effort behind at his near post after the break.
But it was City who had looked the more likely to add to their lead in the second half as Liverpool struggled to contain the speed of Jeremy Doku on the counter-attack.
The Belgian winger teed up Julian Alvarez with a glorious chance that the Argentine spooned over.
Alisson was handed another let-off 20 minutes from time when he spilled a corner under minimal pressure from Manuel Akanji and Ruben Dias tapped home.
However, a VAR check did not overturn the referee’s on-field decision to award the Liverpool ‘keeper a soft free-kick.
Klopp turned to his bench to try and summon a response with Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch introduced.
Diaz’s father was among the crowd after being flown to England by Liverpool to enjoy the Christmas season following a kidnap ordeal in his native Colombia.
And Diaz was involved in Liverpool’s leveller against the run of play 10 minutes from time.
The Colombian picked out Salah, who laid the ball into Alexander-Arnold’s path for a fantastic finish into the bottom corner.
City pushed for a winner in eight minutes of added time but were thwarted as they failed to win at home for the first time since December 31 last year.