Two horrendous errors from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker left Liverpool's title defence hanging by a thread as Manchester City ran out 4-1 victors at Anfield.
With the score at one apiece and 17 minutes remaining, the ultra-consistent goalkeeper gave the ball away to Phil Foden who brilliantly set up Ilkay Gundogan for his second goal of the game.
Three minutes later Alisson gave the ball straight to Bernardo Silva in the box and the Portuguese midfielder impudently scooped the ball over the Liverpool keeper for Raheem Sterling to nod home on the goal-line.
Foden put more gloss on the victory with a fearsome strike seven minutes from time, which powered through the Brazilian stopper's hands en route to the roof of the net.
Earlier, Gundogan missed a spot kick after Sterling had been felled in the only memorable incident from a drab first half, before the German midfielder made amends netting from close range after Alisson made a good stop from Foden's low shot.
Mo Salah put the hosts back on level terms when he converted a spot kick after being pulled down by Ruben Dias.
After losing to City at home for the first time since 2003, Liverpool, in fourth position, are now 10 points behind leaders City having played a game more.
Ilkay Gundogan - Liverpool-Manchester City - Premier League 2020-21
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - TAA is not a full back
Forgive me for not going with the catchier ‘Alisson Blunderland’ and the ghost of Fabien Barthez (whose similarly bad errors for Manchester United against Arsenal in 2001 in a similarly important game blotted his copybook at Old Trafford) but this is a longer-term takeaway.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is a magnificent player. As good a passer from the right flank as David Beckham and the most dangerous attacking right back the Premier League has seen, but he was embarrassed by Raheem Sterling in two of the three key moments of the game.
For all the resistance he showed to his fellow England international when the City number seven cut in from the right flank before he was brought down for the penalty and set up Foden for the effort at goal that led to Gundogan's opener, he might as well have been a traffic cone (probably even less effective, they have those pesky deceptively long sticking out bits at the bottom after all).
His defensive deficiencies have been hidden because of the way Liverpool have played under Jurgen Klopp but from the start it was evident from Manchester City’s cross-field balls aimed behind him that he was being targeted. He has to have a future in an England shirt, but it must be as a wing-back or midfielder – at right back he is a liability.
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MAN OF THE MATCH – Phil Foden (Man City)
This is probably the most memorable game of Pep Guardiola’s time at the Etihad and also the breakout game of the young England left-footer's career. Not too long ago it seemed certain he would not get the chance to be a regular at Manchester City given the glut of attacking talent Guardiola has at his disposal.
He is now as key as any player to the City side. The way he drifted past Henderson after Alisson unwittingly found him 25 yards from goal and then set up Gundogan perfectly for the key second was world class. Equally so the way he controlled perfectly, cut inside Andy Robertson and launched a rocket at goal to get himself on the scoresheet. Even without these incidents he probably would have been man of the match. Just a great display.
Liverpool: Alisson 4, Alexander-Arnold 5, Fabinho 6, Henderson 5, Robertson 6, Wijnaldum 6, Tiago 6, Jones 6, Salah 7, Firmino 6, Mane 6. Subs: Milner 6, Shaqiri 6, Tsimikas 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Cancelo 7, Dias 6, Stones 6, Zinchenko 6, Rodrigo 7, Gundogan 8, Bernardo 7, Mahrez 7, Foden 10, Sterling 8. Subs: Jesus 6.
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36' PENALTY! A great run from Sterling, slaloming in from the left wing. He turns inside Alexander-Arnold too easily and outpaces Thiago before he is caught by Fabinho's trailing leg.
37' MISSED! Gundogan misses! And misses by miles. Trying to clip the penalty across his body into the top corner and it was over a yard high and wide of the angle of the bar.
49' GOAL! Liverpool 0-1 Man City (Gundogan): Gundogan nets from close range. Sterling once more too easily beats Alexander-Arnold then squares to Foden, his shot is blocked on the stretch by Alisson but Gundogan is there to smash home and redeem his penalty miss.
63' PENALTY! Dias loses track of a long ball, overrunning it and Salah nicks the ball from him and is then pulled back for a penalty.
64' GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Man City (Gundogan): Salah fires straight down the middle of the goal into the roof of the net as Ederson dives to his left.
73' GOAL FOR CITY! Liverpool 1-2 Man City (Gundogan): Gundogan gets another goal-poacher goal. This time created by a superb run into the box and squared ball from Foden. Twice in the build up Alisson gave the ball away, the second time straight to 25 yards from goal. He beats Henderson on the right hand side of the area and then lays the ball on a plate for the German.
76' GOAL FOR CITY! Liverpool 1-3 Man City (Sterling): Another horrendous Alisson error, he gives the ball straight to Bernardo who clips the ball over the Liverpool keeper and Sterling heads home from a yard out.
83' GOAL FOR CITY! Liverpool 1-4 Man City (Foden): The England international Foden cut in from the left flank and then fired the ball over the crouching Liverpool keeper and into the roof of the net. It was a fearsome effort but Alisson will again be frustrated he didn't keep it out.