Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool2Man CityManchester City1
By Timothy AbrahamBBC Sport
Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho's winner was his fourth Premier League goal of the season
  • Liverpool move up to fifth spot with win
  • Reds unbeaten in the league in 2015
  • City without a win at Anfield since May 2003
  • Pellegrini's side remain five points behind Chelsea

Philippe Coutinho scored a stunning winner as Liverpool dented Manchester City's Premier League title defence with a narrow victory at Anfield.

Jordan Henderson's curling effort put the Reds ahead before Edin Dzeko finished off a slick move to equalise.

But Brazil midfielder Coutinho capped a fine display with the decisive goal when he struck from 25 yards.

The result leaves City five points behind Chelsea having played a game extra, while Liverpool move to fifth.

MOTD2 analysis
Danny Murphy: "Liverpool's 3-4-3 formation definitely suits Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, but the way Manchester City were set up on Sunday allowed the pair to thrive."
Read more: How Man City let Liverpool duo shine

Liverpool's 3-2 victory in this fixture last April was seen as a pivotal moment for the Reds in last season's title charge, although ultimately it was City that went on to win the Premier League a month later.

With current league leaders Chelsea in League Cup final action against Tottenham, City manager Manuel Pellegrini had underlined the importance of this match and the need for his side to "keep fighting" in the title race.

Liverpool 2-1 Man City: 'Incredible' Reds delight Rodgers

City made a two-point gain on Chelsea last weekend but they were unable to make up further ground on Jose Mourinho's side after Coutinho scored the winning goal against them at Anfield for the second consecutive season.

For Liverpool, it kept their unbeaten league record in 2015 and, having taken 26 points from a possible 30, momentum appears to be building in their bid to finish in one of the Champions League places.

Liverpool only arrived back at 04:30 GMT on Friday following their penalty shootout defeat by Besiktas in the Europa League last week, and despite the physical toils of their travels Rodgers felt his players would be "mentally ready"external-link to face City.

They showed few signs of tiredness, although it was Coutinho, rested for last week's trip to Istanbul, who was at the heart of Liverpool's attacking play.

City's Anfield struggles
Manchester City have not won on any of their last 13 visits to Anfield in all competitions. Liverpool's ground remains the only one in the Premier League where City have not won away since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2008.

Coutinho's sharpness helped Liverpool take an 11th-minute lead when he stole the ball off Vincent Kompany, making his 200th league appearance for City, and Raheem Sterling slipped the ball out wide to Henderson.

Liverpool 2-1 Man City: Pellegrini says City's 'style' must return

The England midfielder, who wore the Liverpool captain's armband in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard, cut inside onto his favoured right foot and curled a stunning shot past Joe Hart and into the top right corner of the net.

The goal brought greater urgency to City's play and they almost equalised when Sergio Aguero latched on to David Silva's through ball only for the Argentine forward's shot to rebound off the post.

City got themselves on level terms before the half-hour mark with a slick move that culminated in Aguero's clever pass into the area for Dzeko, and the Bosnia forward clinically dispatched a low shot past Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

Aguero headed over from a dangerous position shortly after half-time, while Liverpool's Adam Lallana had the ball in the net again when he glanced in a free-kick only for the officials to judge he did so from an offside position.

Coutinho always seemed Liverpool's most likely source of another goal and delivered the telling blow with a strike akin to the quality of the one he scored in their 2-0 win against Southampton last Sunday.

The playmaker jinked in from the left flank and curled a spectacular shot past Hart and into the top right corner of the net in front of the Kop.

Jordan Henderson, Yaya Toure
Jordan Henderson also scored his first league goal against Manchester City, for Sunderland in 2009
Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany made his 200th Premier League appearance for Manchester City at Anfield
Edin Dzeko
Edin Dzeko now has four goals in the Premier League for City this season
Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho scored the winning goal in Liverpool's 3-2 victory over City last season
Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers has now won two and lost two of his four encounters with Manuel Pellegrini

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 23Can
  • 37Skrtel
  • 6Lovren
  • 50MarkovicSubstituted forSturridgeat 76'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 24Allen
  • 18MorenoSubstituted forK Touréat 83'minutes
  • 20LallanaBooked at 84mins
  • 31Sterling
  • 10Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 4K Touré
  • 9Lambert
  • 15Sturridge
  • 29Borini
  • 45Balotelli
  • 49Williams
  • 52Ward

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 4Kompany
  • 20Mangala
  • 11Kolarov
  • 8NasriBooked at 57minsSubstituted forLampardat 83'minutes
  • 42Y Touré
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forBonyat 78'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 21Silva
  • 16Agüero
  • 10DzekoSubstituted forMilnerat 58'minutesBooked at 82mins

Substitutes

  • 6Reges
  • 7Milner
  • 13Caballero
  • 14Bony
  • 18Lampard
  • 22Clichy
  • 26Demichelis
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
44,590

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away0
Fouls
Home8
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 2, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Manchester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

  5. Post update

    Kolo Touré (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Yaya Touré.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

  11. Post update

    Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Booking

    Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

  14. Post update

    Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  17. Booking

    Adam Lallana (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    James Milner (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Frank Lampard replaces Samir Nasri.

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