Martin Skrtel's calamitous late error gave Premier League champions Manchester City a point they barely deserved against Liverpool after a pulsating game at Anfield.
Liverpool looked on course to give new manager Brendan Rodgers his first Premier League victory until defender Skrtel directed a backpass straight to Carlos Tevez, who took full advantage of the gift to score with 10 minutes left and grab his 100th goal in English football.
Skrtel's powerful header gave Liverpool a lead they fully deserved at half-time - only for another defensive mix-up to hand Yaya Toure a scrambled equaliser for Roberto Mancini's side after the break.
Luis Suarez's precise free-kick restored Liverpool's advantage, but Skrtel's mistake handed City a reprieve in a moment that saw Rodgers slump into his seat on the sidelines in despair.
City will be grateful to leave Anfield with a draw after a mediocre display, while Rodgers can take plenty of solace in a Liverpool performance that showed plenty of encouraging signs and indications that his players are buying into his philosophy.
The biggest positives for Rodgers came in the shape of an exciting league debut from 17-year-old Raheem Sterling, and the manner in which the assured Joe Allen dictated the tempo and controlled possession in midfield.
Rodgers demonstrated his willingness to put his faith in youth and hunger when more experienced players fail to deliver - hence his decision to prefer Sterling to £20m Stewart Downing.
And the young winger played his full part in a vibrant first-half display from Liverpool as City struggled to pick up the pace of the game.
- Manchester City have won none of their last 11 competitive visits to Anfield with their last victory at Liverpool's ground coming in May 2003
Sterling was causing problems for Kolo Toure, selected ahead of Joleon Lescott, and he should have provided Liverpool's opening goal. He delivered a teasing cross that found Fabio Borini at the near post, but the Italian could only bundle his effort wide from eight yards.
City's response came via Tevez, whose industry in the opening exchanges was in stark contrast to the laboured efforts of Mario Balotelli as he attempted to fill the gap left by the injured Sergio Aguero.
And he was almost on the mark when he forced the ball past Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina from an acute angle but the ball rebounded to safety off an upright.
Liverpool, who lost Lucas to injury in only the fourth minute, were showing the sharpness in possession that Rodgers wants to make his trademark with Allen, his £15m signing from Swansea City, a prominent figure.
They were pressing City back and thoroughly deserved the lead they were given by Skrtel after 34 minutes. The defender rose majestically to meet Steven Gerrard's corner and thump an unstoppable header past City keeper Joe Hart in front of the Kop.
City's sloppiness in possession almost cost them again early in the second half when Borini broke clear to set up Suarez but the Uruguayan could only steer a half-hit effort well off target.
Mancini made a double change in an attempt to galvanise his team, with Jack Rodwell and Edin Dzeko replacing Samir Nasri and Balotelli - with the intention of allowing Yaya Toure to become more of a threat.
It worked almost instantly as Toure took advantage of poor defending from Liverpool when they failed to deal with Tevez's cross, turning from close range against the run of play.
City were only on terms for three minutes before Liverpool restored their advantage. Rodwell was penalised for handling Gerrard's effort and Liverpool's captain left it to Suarez to sweep a 25-yard free-kick low into Hart's bottom left hand corner.
Liverpool had regained the initiative but were denied all three points when Skrtel allowed City to claim a draw.
- 25 Reina
- 02 Johnson
- 16 Coates
- 34 Kelly (Jose Enrique - 66' )
- 37 Skrtel
- 08 Gerrard
- 21 Lucas (Shelvey - 5' )
- 24 Allen
- 31 Sterling
- 07 Suarez Booked
- 29 Borini (Carroll - 83' )
- 01 Jones
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 23 Carragher
- 14 Henderson
- 19 Downing
- 33 Shelvey
- 09 Carroll
- 01 Hart
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta
- 13 Kolarov
- 28 K Toure
- 07 Milner (Silva - 76' )
- 08 Nasri (Rodwell - 59' )
- 34 De Jong
- 42 Y Toure
- 32 Tevez
- 45 Balotelli (Dzeko - 62' )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 06 Lescott
- 15 Savic
- 17 Rodwell
- 21 Silva
- 62 Razak
- 10 Dzeko
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +3:47
Shot by Joe Allen from a long way out goes over the net.90:00 +3:27 Booking
Booking Luis Suarez is booked.90:00 +2:54
Carlos Tevez produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.90:00 +2:23
Corner from the left by-line taken by David Silva, clearance by Sebastian Coates.90:00 +1:25
Glen Johnson has a drilled shot. Save by Joe Hart.90:00 +0:31
Pablo Zabaleta delivers the ball, clearance by Glen Johnson.88:45
The ball is sent over by Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart makes a save.87:29
Andy Carroll takes a shot. Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.87:14
Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.87:00
Shot by Jonjo Shelvey. Kolo Toure makes a clearance.86:29
Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard.86:21
A cross is delivered by Raheem Sterling, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.86:07
Raheem Sterling sends in a cross, clearance by Kolo Toure.85:41
The ball is crossed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Effort on goal by Edin Dzeko from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.84:27
Centre by Steven Gerrard.84:21
The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.82:49 Substitution
Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Andy Carroll coming on for Fabio Borini.82:40
Edin Dzeko produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.81:56
Shot by Jonjo Shelvey from just outside the area goes over the net.
Foul by Vincent Kompany on Luis Suarez, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Sebastian Coates.79:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Liverpool 2 - 2 Man City Carlos Tevez finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 2-2 Man City.78:13
The ball is swung over by Yaya Toure, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.77:01
Effort on goal by Edin Dzeko from just inside the area clears the crossbar.76:25
Steven Gerrard produces a cross, Kolo Toure manages to make a clearance.75:19
Direct free kick taken by Sanchez Jose Enrique.75:19 Substitution
Substitution David Silva joins the action as a substitute, replacing James Milner.75:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by James Milner on Sanchez Jose Enrique.69:13
Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Luis Suarez results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.68:53
The ball is swung over by Fabio Borini, clearance made by Jack Rodwell.65:54
Assist on the goal came from Steven Gerrard. Blocked by Jack Rodwell.65:54 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 2 - 1 Man City Luis Suarez scores a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-1 Man City.64:40 Substitution
Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Sanchez Jose Enrique coming on for Martin Kelly.64:40
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Jack Rodwell is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick.62:54
Carlos Tevez provided the assist for the goal.62:54 Goal scored
Goal! - Yaya Toure - Liverpool 1 - 1 Man City Yaya Toure finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-1 Man City.62:50
The ball is crossed by Carlos Tevez,61:18 Substitution
Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Edin Dzeko coming on for Mario Balotelli.60:59
The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly, clearance by Nigel De Jong.60:15
The referee blows for offside against James Milner. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.59:48
Centre by Carlos Tevez, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.58:59 Substitution
Substitution Jack Rodwell replaces Samir Nasri.58:36
Raheem Sterling delivers the ball, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.57:48
The ball is sent over by Luis Suarez, clearance by Kolo Toure.56:20
Fabio Borini delivers the ball, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.54:44
Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the left by-line to the near post, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.51:05
Foul by Vincent Kompany on Luis Suarez, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Luis Suarez.50:10
Unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.49:14
Shot by Luis Suarez from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.47:27
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kolo Toure by Raheem Sterling. Kolo Toure restarts play with the free kick.45:45
James Milner fouled by Raheem Sterling, the ref awards a free kick. Aleksandar Kolarov delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.45:15
Martin Skrtel concedes a free kick for a foul on Mario Balotelli. Samir Nasri takes the direct free kick.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +2:11 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.45:00 +0:53
Unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Raheem Sterling results in a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Aleksandar Kolarov from the free kick.45:00 +0:20
The ball is delivered by Raheem Sterling, Kolo Toure manages to make a clearance.43:51
Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Fabio Borini makes a clearance.42:54
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the right by-line to the near post, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.41:34
Luis Suarez has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.40:58
Vincent Kompany concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Suarez. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.33:37
The assist for the goal came from Steven Gerrard.33:37 Goal scored
Goal! - Martin Skrtel - Liverpool 1 - 0 Man City Martin Skrtel finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Liverpool 1-0 Man City.33:01
Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard,32:52
The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Vincent Kompany.32:38
The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson, Pablo Zabaleta manages to make a clearance.32:30
Luis Suarez produces a cross, clearance by Kolo Toure.30:59
Mario Balotelli produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.29:51
Jonjo Shelvey concedes a free kick for a foul on Yaya Toure. Vincent Kompany takes the free kick.29:25
Shot by Luis Suarez from 25 yards. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.28:01
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, James Milner manages to make a clearance.27:50
Fabio Borini takes a shot. Blocked by Kolo Toure.27:01
Free kick awarded for a foul by Glen Johnson on James Milner. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.24:44
Foul by Martin Kelly on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Samir Nasri crosses the ball in from the free kick.22:41
The ball is sent over by Aleksandar Kolarov, blocked by Martin Kelly.20:40
Unfair challenge on Raheem Sterling by Kolo Toure results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Jonjo Shelvey.20:30
Kolo Toure takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.18:37
Carlos Tevez takes a shot from close in that bounces off the post.17:09
Centre by Raheem Sterling, Fabio Borini has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.16:05
Carlos Tevez challenges Joe Allen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.13:55
Carlos Tevez crosses the ball.12:01
James Milner crosses the ball, save by Jose Reina.10:07
Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Fabio Borini, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Yaya Toure.9:03
The ball is swung over by Samir Nasri, Martin Skrtel manages to make a clearance.7:55
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Martin Skrtel. Strike comes in from Aleksandar Kolarov from the free kick, save made by Jose Reina.4:02 Substitution
Substitution Jonjo Shelvey replaces Leiva Lucas.3:06
Steven Gerrard has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.1:20
Centre by James Milner, clearance by Sebastian Coates.0:29
Steven Gerrard produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.0:00
The game begins.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers