Brendan Rodgers impressed by Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the performances of Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen after his side's 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

A misplaced backpass by Martin Skrtel gifted Carlos Tevez the opportunity to grab a point, but Rodgers was still impressed by his side's display.

"For a 17-year-old lad [Sterling] coming in to play against the champions, I thought his performance was fantastic," Rodgers said.

Analysis

"An excellent performance from Liverpool. They were so close to beating the champions but frustration in the end as an error from Martin Skrtel, who had put them ahead earlier in the match, ultimately gifted City a draw. A really enjoyable game, though."

"It was an easy decision to pick him."

The Liverpool manager was equally happy with the showing from Allen, who followed Rodgers to Anfield from Swansea.

The Welshman caught the eye with his passing and the way he helped Liverpool control possession in midfield.

"I think the Liverpool supporters will enjoy watching this kid play football," Rodgers added. "He is 5ft 6ins but in terms of being a footballer he is 7ft 6ins.

"He's absolutely immense. His courage in getting on the ball, how he reads the game and his football intelligence is outstanding.

"We paid £15m for him and I said that very quickly that price would double and people probably laughed at me.

"He will play here for many years and the supporters will love this kid."

Sterling was handed his first Premier League start against City on Sunday following on from his full senior debut against Hearts on Thursday.

The former Queens Park Rangers trainee was a constant threat for Liverpool as he gave the City defence a number of problems with darting runs down the left-hand side.

"I said when I first came in I wouldn't pick players on status or what they've done but on what I saw in front of me," Rodgers said. "He is a young player who has improved every single day I have been here.

"He was fighting for the team, showed real tactical understanding playing against a really experienced player in Kolo Toure."

Draw specialists

  • Five of the last eight league meetings between City and Liverpool have ended in draws

Skrtel had given Liverpool a first-half lead with a powerful header before Yaya Toure capitalised on an error from Martin Kelly in the area after the break.

Suarez put Liverpool back ahead with a curling free-kick but Skrtel's late error played Tevez clean through and he grabbed City an equaliser in a game that the Reds will feel they deserved to take three points from.

However, Rodgers refused to blame the Slovakian defender for his side's failure to win.

"It's all part of the journey," he added. "I commend his courage to get on the ball. The easy thing is to smash it up the pitch.

"There is no blame here. He is a strong character and the other players and staff rallied around him."