Liverpool had to settle for a 1-1 draw despite dominating league leaders Manchester City for large parts of Sunday's encounter.
A Joleon Lescott OG drew the Reds level after Vincent Kompany opened the scoring - but no one has given City's title credentials such an examination so far in 2011-12.
A raft of chances were spurned by the home side in the second period, but City hung on despite having Mario Balotelli sent off with seven minutes to go.
On a day when football seemed insignificant following the tragic death of Wales manager Gary Speed, players and supporters paid their respects - a minute of silence in memory of both Speed and the son of Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones, who died aged five last weekend after a battle with leukaemia.
With the lights switched on over Anfield, attention then turned to a match between the Barclays Premier League's last remaining unbeaten team and a side who hadn't lost in nine
Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson were recalled for Liverpool, with Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy making way. The opposite side of the teamsheet was an illustration of the resources available to Roberto Mancini. Messrs Johnson, Balotelli and Dzeko started from the bench, meaning a front three of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri took to a pitch on which City have rarely prospered down the years.
The latest example of this was a 3-0 defeat in April, but since then the Citizens have scored six and five at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane respectively.
The visitors started brightly, producing an anxious moment at the Kop end on six minutes which ended when Micah Richards spun a shot over the crossbar.
A late challenge on Luis Suarez which earned Kompany a yellow card seemed to galvanise the Reds somewhat but Pepe Reina was still required to burst from his box to prevent Aguero capitalising on a weak back-pass from Jose Enrique.
The game was developing into a coy affair until wham - two goals in two minutes.
First Kompany headed a Silva corner diagonally beyond Reina, a superb finish which was celebrated wildly in the away end - but their section soon fell quiet.
Shortly after the game restarted Adam found the ball at his feet 30 yards out and tried his luck. His luck was in. The ball took a wicked deflection off Lescott and England goalkeeper Joe Hart had no chance.
Roused by the home support, Liverpool surged. Adam was denied by the tip of Hart's boots; Glen Johnson, who scored the winner at Stamford Bridge a week ago, bent the ball narrowly over from the corner of City's penalty area.
The second half began with Liverpool still looking the more likely.
On 52 minutes a Downing cross ricocheted to the back post where Kuyt lurked, but the Dutchman could not generate either power or accuracy with his header.
By the 65th minute Mancini had grown impatient and opted to swap Nasri for Balotelli.
But again Liverpool probed, with Downing's bouncing shot from the edge of the area requiring a fingertip save from Hart.
A goalline scramble ensued after a deep corner from Adam, but Lescott just managed to toe it clear under harassment from Kuyt.
Having dominated the early stages, City were now under heavy pressure, with the latest threat coming through Downing, who sprinted down the left before whacking narrowly over.
Next, Adam curled into the box towards Skrtel but Lescott intervened just in time. Seconds later Downing came agonisingly close at the back post.
Edin Dzeko was introduced for City with 10 minutes to go but within seconds Mancini's gameplan was blown when substitute Balotelli received a second yellow for leading with his elbow in a challenge with Skrtel.
He had been on the pitch less than 20 minutes - and his departure earned a pointed stare from his manager.
Two further saves were required from the excellent Hart to deny Suarez and substitute Andy Carroll but City hung on.