Manchester City v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Liverpool suffered a first Premier League defeat of the season and had their lead at the top of the table cut to four points as they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Sergio Aguero's opener was cancelled out by Roberto Firmino's second-half equaliser, but Leroy Sane struck to clinch victory for the hosts.
Here's how the top of the table has been affected by tonight's result, with Liverpool's lead cut to four points at the summit.
The story of the game in Opta stats...
Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool suffer a first Premier League defeat of the season and have their lead at the top cut to four points as they're beaten 2-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Sergio Aguero gave the hosts a first-half lead when he arrowed an effort beyond Alisson Becker from an acute angle inside the box.
The Reds responded via Roberto Firmino's close-range header in the 64th minute; however, Leory Sane's finish secured the points for Pep Guardiola's men.
Van Dijk is in the City box as Liverpool try and grab something from the contest...
Five minutes of added time to be played...
A let-off for Liverpool as Sterling spurns a glorious chance to add a third for City.
Bernardo Silva booked.
Otamendi is on in place of Kompany for the hosts.
Changes for both teams - Sturridge replaces Wijnaldum for the Reds while Walker is on in place of Laporte for City.
Stones clears off the line from Wijnaldum following a Liverpool corner.
Salah escapes behind Stones, but his effort across goal is turned around the post by a fine save from Ederson.
City break dangerously after a long spell of Liverpool possession. Sterling releases Aguero, who tries to round Alisson but he's thwarted by the Reds goalkeeper.
Superb and important challenge from Robertson to halt Sterling inside the box.
Shaqiri comes on for Mane
Xherdan Shaqiri is being prepared to come on for the Reds.
Goal - Leroy Sane
Manchester City retake the lead as they break at speed. Sane collects the ball on the left of the box, takes and touch and drills a low effort beyond the reach of Alisson and into the far corner.
2-1 to the home team now.
Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in seven goals in his last eight games against Man City in the Premier League (four goals, three assists).
Gundogan replaces David Silva for the home team.
GOAL! ROBERTO FIRMINO!
Liverpool are level at the Etihad!
It's a lovely goal, too.
Alexander-Arnold steps inside Sane on the right and pings a left-foot ball towards Robertson's run into the area. He arrives at the back post to square for Firmino to stoop and head in unmarked.
A Liverpool free-kick into the area causes panic inside the City box. Firmino's shot is blocked in front of the line by a combination of Kompany and Ederson.
Danilo cuts in from the right and tries his luck, but drives wide of the post with his left foot.
Fabinho is on for Milner as Liverpool make their first change.
A cross from the left is deflected into the path of Alexander-Arnold on the edge of the box, who cracks a half-volley into the side netting.
Sterling goes down as he attempts to check back on Robertson inside the box. He wants a penalty but play continues
The pace and intensity of the contest hasn't been impacted by the interval. It's still frenetic.
Back under way...
We're off again at the Etihad as City re-start the game. It is the hosts who hold the advantage courtesy of Sergio Aguero's 41st-minute finish.
The story of the first half in numbers...
Manchester City 1-0 Liverpool
A tense, frantic opening half ends with the home side holding a one-goal advantage courtesy of Sergio Aguero's powerful finish four minutes before the break.
Liverpool went agonisingly close to taking the lead midway through the opening period, but Sadio Mane's shot came back off the post before John Stones cleared on the line after his clearance had struck Ederson.
Laporte booked following a challenge on Milner.
Two minutes of added time at the end of the first half...
Goal - Sergio Aguero
City have the lead as Aguero rasps beyond Alisson from a tight angle and into the roof of the net after collecting a ball into the area.
Wijnaldum goes into the book for pulling back Sane.
Kompany goes into the book for a late challenge on Salah as he stretched to reach a loose ball.
City's first opening of the game as David Silva finds space from Sterling's pull-back, but his eventual shot is blocked by Van Dijk.
Aguero's low ball into the area is dangerous, but Lovren hacks it away.
That's how close Liverpool were to taking the lead, but the Goal Decision System ruled not the entire ball had crossed the line before Stones cleared it away.
The Reds could not have come any closer.
Lovren is booked for hauling back Aguero.
Another effort from Mane, this time he side-foots Alexander-Arnold's cross into the arms of Ederson.
How have Liverpool not taken the lead?
Salah slides through Mane, whose low shot beats Ederson but comes back off the post. City's attempts to clear almost see them deflect the ball into their own net as Stones smacks it against the goalkeeper, but eventually it's scrambled off the line.
So, so unlucky.
It's been a frantic start at the Etihad.
Alexander-Arnold finds space down the right, but his low ball into the danger zone deflects off Fernandinho and into the arms of Ederson.
Robertson is down and need of treatment after a follow-through by Fernandinho.
A lively start from the hosts, who are trying to force the early initiative.
David Silva drills a low ball into the six-yard box, which is collected by Alisson.
Here we go, then.
It's game on as Liverpool kick us off at the Etihad.
It promises to be some night.
Come on you Reds.
The time for talking is over.
Here come the players.
An award for Bobby
He's the master of scoring without looking and tonight Firmino has won an award without looking.
The Brazilian, whose focus is obviously firmly on events at the Etihad Stadium, has been confirmed as the winner of the 2018 Samba Gold award.
Inside the visitors' quarters
Opta predict the teams will shape up like so...
Man City: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Kompany, Laporte, Fernandinho, Silva, Sane, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.
Subs: Muric, Walker, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Otamendi, Jesus.
Two changes are made by Liverpool for tonight's clash with Manchester City as James Milner and Jordan Henderson replace Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri in the only alterations made to the team deployed against Arsenal.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Fabinho, Keita, Moreno, Sturridge, Lallana, Shaqiri.
Gini on duty...
Wijnaldum handles the pre-match media obligations for the Reds at the Etihad.
Five memorable wins at Man City
Counting down the minutes until kick-off? We know the feeling.
Use up a few more with a trip down memory lane and our pick of five great league victories for the Reds at City down the years...
"We are in a normal and very excited [mood] because it's a very interesting - difficult, but interesting - game we have to play. We're looking forward to it."
Did you know?
Firmino scored his first Liverpool goal in this fixture in November 2015, when Liverpool were 4-1 winners at the Etihad.
The Reds have never lost when the Brazilian has found the target in an away match - with 20 wins and three draws to date.
Guardiola: Liverpool have been incredible
City's boss is effusive in his praise for the Reds in his matchday programme notes...
"Liverpool have been incredible so far this season and so consistent," Guardiola writes.
"That is why they are top of the Premier League table. We know their qualities and we are expecting a terrific contest."
Like those odds?
BetVictor see it like this pre-match.
City - 1/1
Draw - 14/5
Liverpool - 29/10
Fancy a flutter? Click here to place a wager now>>
Guardiola on the gap
"Our reality is clear. We are seven points down. It is the second round of games and I have a feeling there is a big opportunity for us to reduce the gap," said the City boss.
"People are asking what we will do if we lose but we are going to try to win the game, be there and have a chance to fight for the Premier League."
*WEATHER UPDATE KLAXON*
A big match requires a big, official Liverpoolfc.com weather update.
And the temperatures in Manchester are exactly as you'd expect for early January - low. It's likely to hit zero by kick-off so a coat is a must if you're heading to Etihad Stadium later.
If you're unable to watch this game, don't forget you can tune in to our live commentary for free. Just click here shortly before kick-off to enjoy the most passionate calling of the action anywhere!
10 of the best
We've scored some brilliant goals at Manchester City in the Premier League era - and here's 10 of them to relive all over again. Fingers crossed we're forced to update this list tomorrow...
The view from Manchester City
Want the lowdown on what to expect from Guardiola's men tonight? We spoke to City fan David Mooney for a detailed brief on their recent form, likely starting line-up and much more.
Click here to read the interview.
Get your goals
If somehow your appetite needs whetting further for this match, how about enjoying every single Liverpool goal scored in 2018 (including nine against tonight's opponents)?
Well, we've got you covered...
- Liverpool have won this fixture in the league more times than City themselves - 30 victories to 29
- The Reds are unbeaten in their last 10 away league games, their best run since 1992
- Daniel Sturridge could make the 150th appearance of his LFC career
- Xherdan Shaqiri could feature in the Premier League for the 100th time
- Since defeat in this fixture last season, Liverpool's league record is P54, W36, D14, L4
- Sergio Aguero has scored in every PL appearance against the Reds at the Etihad (six)
Lovren: We're ready for the battle
Dejan Lovren spoke to Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the trip to Manchester, explaining where he expects the game to be decided and reflecting on his and the team's form - both recently and in 2018.
Watch the chat via LFCTV GO below or read a Q&A by clicking here.
The Reds don't have to look too far for Etihad Stadium inspiration.
On their last visit, Klopp's men weathered a first-half storm as City attempted to overturn a 3-0 deficit in their Champions League quarter-final. Salah's breakaway dink practically settled the tie and Firmino won the game on the night for good measure.
Last time out
Liverpool come into this game in fine form, having capped off 2018 with a stunning comeback win over Arsenal at Anfield, featuring a Roberto Firmino hat-trick. Enjoy the best of that one again below.
Klopp: I don't have the 'clue' for Guardiola's City
The Reds boss does not read too much into the record discussed below, however.
"I don't feel I have the clue for Pep's football, not a little bit. The only thing I can say is we will again try everything," said Klopp.
"We have to be brave, play football ourselves - which is a real challenge against them because they defend well and their counter-pressing is good - and they play different systems in one game, so we'll have to adapt to that as well. It's a big game."
Did you know?
Klopp has enjoyed the better of the head-to-head record with Guardiola since the latter took charge of Manchester City, with four wins and two draws from seven meetings in all competitions.
We're some way off receiving confirmed teamsheets but we do know a few things about the prospective selections for each side this evening.
For Liverpool, James Milner is back in training after missing the past two matches and could come into contention against his former club.
City are hopeful of having Kevin De Bruyne available, with a check on his fitness planned today, and Ilkay Gundogan is likely to be fit.
But the hosts will definitely be without two options at left-back - Fabian Delph is suspended and Benjamin Mendy remains sidelined with a knee injury.
The manager's preview
Klopp naturally spoke at length about the challenge of facing City during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday. Catch up with everything the boss had to say below...
Three key battles
Of course, there will be quality all over the pitch at Etihad Stadium tonight, but we have picked out three particular duels that may go a long way to deciding the outcome in Manchester.
Click here to read the feature.
Tale of the tape
Here's how the two sides stack up after 20 Premier League games apiece...
The last meeting
They call it Sod's Law.
After an excited build-up predicting plenty of goals, the first clash between these teams this season ended in a goalless draw at Anfield.
Riyad Mahrez's late penalty chance - missed - is perhaps the closest the Reds have come to a defeat in the Premier League so far.
Relive the action below...
How it stands
So, seven points separate the sides ahead of kick-off, with Tottenham Hotspur one point closer to Liverpool than City.
Are you ready?
What a way to start the year.
Premier League leaders Liverpool put their unbeaten record on the line against reigning champions Manchester City in a showdown that will have top-of-the-table ramifications however it finishes.
One thing is certain - we'll keep you updated with all of the build-up, team news, game updates and reaction right here.