Liverpool 1 Man City 1: Hart-stopping finale as City hold on
Joe Hart on hand to prevent Reds netting late winner after Joleon Lescott's own-goal cancelled out Vincent Kompany's opener
Joe Hart produced a string of fine saves to deny Liverpool a late winner as 10-man Manchester City held on for a point at Anfield.
The Premier League leaders had taken a first-half lead through Vincent Kompany but were pegged back less than two minutes later, when Charlie Adam’s long-range effort was deflected in off Joleon Lescott.
Substitute Mario Balotelli was then sent off for two bookable offences before England international Hart spectacularly denied Luis SuÃ¡rez and Andy Carroll late on.
City restored their five-point lead at the top of the table with the draw, while Liverpool moved back above Arsenal into sixth place on 23 points.
The game had started at a high tempo but chances were few and far between. JosÃ© Enrique’s under-hit back-pass almost gave Sergio Aguero a clear opening in the 17th minute, however Pepe Reina raced out of his box to deny the Argentine a sight on goal.
But City took the lead in the 31st minute when Kompany knocked David Silva’s whipped corner past Reina and high into the far post off his shoulder.
Liverpool hit back within two minutes when Adam’s low strike from 35 yards took a huge deflection off Lescott and flew past Hart to pull the Reds level.
Kenny Dalglish’s men were buoyed by the equaliser and could have taken the lead when Dirk Kuyt raced down the left wing and teed up Adam, but the impressive Hart got down to knock the Scot’s low effort wide with his foot.
Glen Johnson, Liverpool’s hero at Stamford Bridge seven days ago, had Hart scrambling with curling left-footed effort from the edge of the box that fell just wide. Reina was then on hand to deny Aguero at the near post on the stroke of half-time.
Kuyt spurned a great chance to grab his first Premier League goal of the season in the 52nd minute – but the Dutchman couldn’t direct Stewart Downing’s cross towards goal.
Liverpool were beginning to ramp up the pressure and Downing forced Hart into a spectacular save in the 67th minute with a dipping volley from just outside the box.
Substitute Balotelli, who had already been booked for tugging back Johnson, was then shown a second yellow card by referee Martin Atkinson after clattering Martin Skrtel to the ground.
With the Reds pushing for a winner, Hart was again on hand to produce a stunning save, this time from SuÃ¡rez in the 88th minute.
At the other end, Silva wasted a glorious chance to grab a winner after dancing past Reina – but the Spainard’s tame shot was easily cleared off the line by Skrtel.
More heroics from Hart then prevented substitute Carroll’s header from finding the net right at the death as Mancini’s men held on for a point.
Liverpool: JosÃ© Reina, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, JosÃ© Enrique, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Dirk Kuyt (Andy Carroll, 84), Stewart Downing, Lucas Leiva, Luis SuÃ¡rez.
Manchester City: Joe Hart, GaÃ«l Clichy, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Yaya TourÃ©, David Silva (Kolo TourÃ©, 90), James Milner, Gareth Barry, Samir Nasri (Mario Balotelli, 65), Sergio AgÃ¼ero (Edin Dzeko, 82).