BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
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2 - 2
Indeed it is - a cracker of a game ends all square thanks to an extraordinary Aguero equaliser. Not the result that City wanted, and they are nine points behind United at the top of the table after a tremendous afternoon at the Etihad.
In it comes - City clear, and that must surely be that.
Lescott prevents Suarez from getting a shot in from an angle - but only at the expense of what will surely be the game's last corner.
City head clear, but Liverpool keep possession. There is less than a minute left as Agger, of all people, crosses. There's nobody up there to attack it, though.
Free-kick to Liverpool, midway inside the City half. Gerrard officiating here.
The corner is too long and over everyone - Mancini looks infuriated. Two minutes of a thriller left.
Aguero and Maicon link, and only a late block prevents the ball reaching Dzeko. Another City corner.
A bit of head tennis in midfield and the ball comes down with Garcia and City. Out it goes to Maicon on the right...
Off goes the outstanding Sturridge, and on comes Joe Allen, in a late Liverpool change.
Skrtel gets a foot in as Aguero threatens to weave off on another run. Excellent challenge by the Liverpool man.
City head clear, and there will be five minutes of added time.
He fires in a shot and Hart saves. The rebound is cleared for a Liverpool corner.
Now Johnson, as Liverpool attack. He is fouled, and that will be a free-kick. Forward comes Downing on the right and he feeds Sturridge on the edge of the box.
Reina punches and, when the ball comes back in, claims confidently.
Kolarov takes, Gerrard clears. Another corner...
Another fine run by Aguero takes him into the Liverpool area and the ball is stabbed behind for a corner.
Before they can take it, Nasri comes on for Barry, who has had an industrious game.
Patient from City, as Barry finds Maicon coming forward on the right. It's a throw to City, deep inside the Liverpool half.
The delivery is dangerous and Maicon attacks it, but he is only able to steer his header over.
Barry and Milner link down the City left. The latter crosses, not very well, but it's deflected behind for a corner.
Johnson has a go, but that's up, away and into the fans behind the goal.
Liverpool have a throw on halfway. It goes forward and they win another, this one about level with the edge of the City area and on the left.
A breathless finish in prospect here - can City find a late winner to close the gap to seven points? Or can Liverpool regain the lead?
...it's blocked and falls to Gerrard, who thumps in another shot. This time, though, City get bodies in the way.
Suarez can get away on the right of the area and can square the ball here...
He blasts it into the wall and Liverpool clear. Ten minutes to go and, just as it was between these two teams at Anfield back in the season's early days, it's 2-1.
Milner wanted to take a quick free-kick, but the referee didn't allow him to. Kolarov will try this one instead...
Gerrard is booked for a challenge, and City have a dangerous free-kick about 30 yards out.
The most unbelievable finish. It looked as though City would need something out of the ordinary to get back into this. They certainly got it.
GOAL: Out of nothing, brilliance from Aguero. On the right, he gets to the ball almost on the byline as Reina challenges. He gets past Reina and, from an impossible angle, curls home an implausible and amazing equaliser. It's 2-2!
...in it goes, and it only just eludes Skrtel who, with any sort of touch on that, would surely have wrapped this match up.
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Free-kick to Liverpool, out on the left. Gerrard looks like the man to take this one...
Skrtel is on, Enrique off as Liverpool make a switch.
What a goal by Gerrard, and what a challenge now for Manchester City. They way they have played, and the way Liverpool have played, suggests Mancini's men face a huge challenge to get even a point now.
Maicon on, David Silva off. Can City respond?
GOAL: And it could be all points dropped. Gerrard controls a clearance outside the area, chesting down and firing a quite brilliant half-volley beyond Hart. A stunning goal, and Liverpool - deservedly - lead at the Emirates.
Roberto Mancini is cutting a frustrated figure on the touchline. This is looking very much looking like more points dropped.
It's a booking for the City man, and a pretty inevitable one for that kind of challenge.
Kolarov tries to get possession but it breaks down, and Javi Garcia fouls Suarez as Liverpool come forward.
Again, Liverpool's pressure forces them back - to groans from the stands.
Hart has the ball as we head towards the final 20 minutes of the afternoon's Premier League football. From his kick, City come forward through Milner once again.
Then, as another cross comes in, Agger produces another good header clear.
Milner has worked hard for City. He doggedly wins and keeps possession and then crosses dangerously but nobody can apply a finishing touch.
Sturridge finds Henderson. Lucas plays a poor pass but Gerrard picks up possession. The home fans want more from their players - the Liverpool skipper had so much time there.
Liverpool still looking very assured, passing with crispness and confidence. They build through Downing, but the final ball in is too high for Suarez.
Another City cross, and Barry loops a header goalwards, but over the top.
Aguero gets into the area but then slips, stumbles and falls to gift possession back to Liverpool.
Downing is the beneficiary on this occasion, and Sturridge feeds the ball back to Enrique. Henderson plays it in, it's blocked and City break.
Aguero is fine, but City are still making nervy mistakes, giving the ball away in midfield again.
Room on the left for Suarez, who makes a jinking run but gets his attempted shot all wrong, skewing it across goal.
It looks as though City may soon be turning to Carlos Tevez, who is warming up.
He's getting a spot of treatment, but should be OK.
Enrique, at the other end, crosses. it's cleared. Agger challenges Aguero and wins the ball, but the City man is down.
Good defending once again by Agger as he clears Liverpool's lines.
Forward comes Silva, winning a corner. The home fans find their voices.
Coming up to the hour and there's nearly a mishap for Carragher, who stumbles but recovers his balance with a couple of City players closing in.
It deflects to Barry. Zabaleta gets it back to him and he crosses - Reina claims confidently.
Can City make something happen from this set-piece?
Carragher thunder into a challenge on Aguero. He gets a yellow, City get a free-kick some 35 yards out.
Nastasic off, Kolarov on as Roberto Mancini makes a change.
Another shot by Sturridge from the edge of the area. This one is blocked, but City's loose passing scuppers their efforts to break.
Downing crosses and City are at full stretch to get themselves any time at all. You would think Liverpool were the home side.
Sturridge is booked for a clear dive, and looks rather sheepish.
Suarez frees Sturridge, who goes to ground in the area very easily as Lescott challenges. There looks to be no contact. No penalty, says the referee.
Hart punches this time, but Liverpool are very much on top here. Another cross comes in, but Downing heads wide.
City head clear but Gerrard crosses and Suarez volleys back towards Carragher. Lescott, under pressure, concedes another corner.
Suarez almost bursts away from Nastasic, and Liverpool win another corner. They've started the second half in the same confident way in which they played the first.
Good football from Liverpool. The ball is played to Suarez, who lays it back to Gerrard. His shot from the edge of the area is scuffed, and City block.
Suarez decides his option is to shoot. The ball hits the wall - Suarez doesn't believe they were far away enough - and goes for a corner.
Gerrard and Suarez consider their options...
Sturridge has had a fine game, quite apart from the goal, and produces some good holding play in midfield to enable Suarez to get forward. He's fouled, and this is a free-kick about 35 yards out and pretty central.
It comes to nothing. Liverpool look for Sturridge on the left, and he wins a throw.
Then Lucas gives possession away cheaply, and City have a corner. Good start to the half by them.
He's crowded out, but City come again and a Milner cross goes all the way through the Liverpool area without a touch from either defender or attacker.
City, who need to up their tempo, get us under way again and look long towards Dzeko.
The players are back out at the Etihad - kick-off for the second half is moments away.
It comes to nothing, and that's half-time. A few boos from the home fans for the officials, but City have not played well so far and that's their main problem. A good, bright performance by Liverpool, and 1-1 is the least they deserve.
A tangle between Downing and Milner on the City right, but no harm done to either. Henderson makes one last move forward for the visitors pre-interval.
City will have to be much better than this after the break if they are to get the three-point haul they need.
Two minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
Hart punches, but that moment was indicative of City's all-round uncertain performance. Suarez thumps an effort, and the 'keeper holds on.
Dear oh dear. Zabaleta doesn't look up as he plays a backpass with Hart coming out for the same ball. It goes narrowly wide. Corner for Liverpool...
Reina goes long downfield as the ball is ushered back to him by Agger. Milner wins it back, but Johnson picks off his attempted pass.
It's to no avail, though. Then a bit of attempted slick inter-passing on the edge of the area breaks down and Liverpool bring it away once again.
Downfield by Reina. Won well by Lescott and Dzeko tries to keep possession as the ball comes forward.
Liverpool are pressing really well, forcing City to go backwards until the ball end up with Hart. Milner moves forward, but Silva then misplaces his pass and there are more audible signs of frustration from the stands.
Five minutes until the break. Manchester United won't be unhappy with the way this one is going.
City playing the ball across the back. Forward it goes, and Aguero touches it wide to the left. Liverpool concede the throw.
No, they can't. The delivery is poor and the ball floats behind for a Liverpool goal-kick.
Down to the other end, and good skill from Aguero wins the home side a corner. Can they make something happen here?
Suarez runs at the City defence again, but the threat is snuffed out this time. Then Johnson crosses, but floats the ball over the top and out for a goal-kick.
That's a booking for the Liverpool midfielder. Hard to argue with that, really.
Lucas and Enrique combine and the latter crosses. City clear and Henderson clatters in to Milner again.
Aguero tries to flick the ball out to the left, but it doesn't work out. There's no real crispness to what City are doing at the moment, and they have created little.
The corner, though, comes to nothing. Ten minutes or so until the break in what has been a pretty decent game so far.
Gerrard will take. Liverpool the more cohesive team at the moment.
Suarez and Sturridge combine in the left for Liverpool. Suarez wins a corner down that side...
Henderson nearly plays his team into trouble with a short pass back towards his own area, but Liverpool sort that particular problem out.
That's the first goal conceded by City in 2013 and, on the balance of play, parity is what the visitors have deserved so far.
The City fans are furious. Dzeko thought he was fouled by Agger, but he was not badly injured and the referee chose to play on.
GOAL: And the controversy deepens as Sturridge gets the ball on the edge of the box and fires in a great shot. Hart well beaten - Liverpool level.
Dzeko feels he is fouled, the referee doesn't and Liverpool come forward. Whistles for the referee from the crowd as play goes on with Dzeko down...
Henderson comes forward for Liverpool, but is forced to turn and play the ball back into his own half.
Aguero crosses and it's a rather panicky clearance from Johnson, more up than away, but Liverpool get away with it.
Henderson piles in on Barry, who is flattened midway inside the Liverpool half. Free-kick to City.
Downing floats it to Henderson who mis-hits his volley horribly. The ball goes back to Downing, who is then miles offside.
Sturridge takes possession on the corner of the area and wins a free-kick in a dangerous crossing position. Can Liverpool respond almost immediately?
The visitors really don't deserve to be behind, but the movement to free Milner was classy.
GOAL: He crosses low to Edin Djeko, who is left with the easiest of tap-ins. Against the run of play, Manchester City have a vital lead.
But they're in trouble here - Milner is worked into space down the left...
Aguero shows marvellous control to take an awkward ball in his stride down the right. Again, though, the Liverpool covering is excellent.
Milner at the other end: Enrique, though, deals with the situation well. Milner looks as though he thinks he should have had a free-kick, but there was nothing wrong with that.
That pass was coming at him with speed, and City soon get themselves into trouble. Lescott takes too long to get the ball away and it's blocked, ricocheting back to Suarez who steers a first-time shot wide.
He finds a cutback to Suarez from the left, but the Uruguayan slices the ball and it's nowhere near Joe Hart's goal.
A few mumbles from the stands as City misplace another pass and Sturridge can break...
Silva chips towards Dzeko inside the area. He uses his arm to control it, and there was no danger of the referee missing that one.
There's no real rhythm to the home side's play at the moment. Agger heads a hopeful cross towards Dzeko firmly away.
Liverpool are looking the better side at the moment, but are forced to concede a throw as City move down their right.
Agger gets a header in and Carragher tries to flick it away from Hart, but City survive.
Suarez is soon back again, though, beating Clichy and winning a corner.
Lescott does well as Suarez again looks to make something happen for the visitors, winning possession and bringing the ball away.
The ball is played deep towards Milner, who can't get a header in, and again Liverpool break neatly.
Johnson fouls Silva after the Spaniard brings the ball down with a great first touch.
The header out is a good one, and Suarez can't pick up the pieces as the ball is played back in.
It's a corner for Liverpool, and Carragher rumbles forward for this one.
Not much in the way of shape to these early stages, but suddenly the ball is played forward to Sturridge, who is denied by a good challenge as he finds space inside the area.
City are playing the ball around in midfield, probing for an opening. Dzeko is the target of the eventual ball forward, but he is offside.
Silva tries to jink his way down the left, but it breaks down and Enrique gallops forward as Liverpool look to counter. It breaks down, though.
Long by Lescott. Back by Liverpool. City play it hesitantly back to Hart through Nastasic, and the goalkeeper has to blast hurriedly away.
Mancini points on the sidelines, urging his team forward. He, and they, were frustrated at Loftus Road in midweek as two points went astray.
Dzeko flicks on from a Clichy ball forward, but there's nobody in support of him and that's back to Liverpool with no alarm caused.
It's neatly worked on the left. Javi Garcia gets his head to it, but that effort drifts over the top.
Careless from Agger, who plays a backpass he didn't really need to and gifts Manchester City a corner.
Not for long, though - Henderson picks it up and is clipped by Zabaleta in midfield. Free-kick to Liverpool.
Zabaleta heads clear powerfully as Liverpool play the ball forward, but possession is soon back with City.
Then it goes straight through to Joe Hart in the City goal. Aguero pressures Johnson, who does well and wins a throw-in off the City man.
City come forward from inside their own half. Barry and Zabaleta link, but the final ball forward is out for a Liverpool throw.
Reina kicks long downfield after the ball is ushered back to him. Sturridge thinks he has been fouled on halfway - he wants a free-kick, but doesn't get one.
That comes to nothing and Liverpool try to break through Downing. Suarez blocks a clearance and the ball finds its way back to Downing - who is offside.
It's a fine strike on the half-volley and Reina tips it over. Corner...
City get the ball back, and Gareth Barry makes an early burst forward. Silva can shoot from the edge of the area...
Liverpool get the game under way. Enrique on the ball in his first start for a fair old while.
Anthony Taylor, the referee, is with the captains in the centre circle. Seconds until the start as Blue Moon booms over the tannoy.
Here they come - and in front of a packed house at the Etihad on a big day for City.
The players are in the tunnel - kick-off is five minutes away.
Liverpool, though, will have something to say about that - and they have been pepped up by the Suarez-Sturridge combination. An intriguing afternoon in prospect at the Etihad.
Manchester United's narrow win at Fulham last night has increased the pressure on defending champions City still further. They are ten points behind their neighbours, and really need to win this one.
Man City team: Hart, Zabaleta , Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Garcia, Barry, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero.
Liverpool team: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Sturridge.
It is crunch time for the chasing pack, writes John Brewin. Read his preview here.
Roberto Mancini and Manchester City are playing catch-up.
Join us for commentary as Man City try to close the gap at the top against Liverpool.