Liverpool extend their unbeaten record to 10 games in all competitions, although can consider themselves unlucky not to have beaten the league leaders.
The reds can take some satisfaction from the 4 points in the last two games, against Chelsea away and high flying Man City at home – but the reds arguably deserved the win today.
With the sad news about Gary Speed filtering through to the Liverpool camp, Dalglish elected to remove the upset Craig Bellamy from the squad . Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson returned to the starting XI at the expense of Bellamy and Rodriguez.
Henderson was employed in the centre of the park, as the reds sought to deny Silva time on the ball. Initially, Man City had the better of the play – penning the reds back as the players adjusted to the new formation. When the reds did make the break out – Suarez was left isolated up front, with Kuyt and Downing failing to offer enough support.
The game began to open up slightly, but some as Man City grabbed their third corner of the game – it was swung into the 6 yard box. Charlie Adam rose but not enough, Kuyt pushed Johnson out the way and Man City captain Kompany rose to glance his header in off the back post.
The goal changed the game and the reds quickly began to take more care of the ball and pass with more precision almost instantaneously.
There was little precise about the goal though – Adam found himself 30 yards out and hit a wayward shot heading well wide of the goal – but Joleon Lescott attempted to take the sting out the ball at the edge of the area – completely wrong footing the City keeper and levelling the scores in the 33rd minute.
Liverpool sensed more opportunities and Joe Hart tipped a Charlie Adam shot around the post, before Glen Johnson attempted another left footed shot – this time curling narrowly wide.
Shortly in to the second half Nasri went on the offensive, dragging his shot wide of the Liverpool goal. At the other end Dirk Kuyt put a header wide of the goal, after it took a deflection off Kompany.
Balotelli arrived on the field for City, but after two bizarre playground fouls he was sent off with 7 minutes remaining.
The reds continued to go all out in their pursuit of the winner but Joe Hart was in unstoppable form. First tipping a Luis Suarez shot around the post, before a fantastic double save from Carroll and then Suarez.
The reds move back up to 6th and are within 3 points of 4th place – after an opening 13 games that has seen clashes against all of the top 5 teams, including 3 away plus the Merseyside derby. With 6 games in December, the reds will need to ensure that their good form against the top sides translates to sides that we should be picking up a few more points from.
No rest for Liverpool though – as they take on Chelsea in less than 48 hours in a crucial League Cup game.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Downing, Leiva, Adam, Henderson, Kuyt, Suarez (Carroll 84)
Unused subs: Doni, Carragher, Coates, Kelly, Rodriguez, Spearing
Goals: Lescott own goal 33
Yellow cards: Carroll
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Barry, Nasri (Balotelli 65), Silva (K Toure 90), Y Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 82)
Unused subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Johnson, De Jong
Goals: Kompany 31
Yellow Cards: Kompany, Milner, Barry, Balotelli
Red Cards: Balotelli (second yellow card)
Anfield Online Man of the Match: Skrtel and Agger are continuing to be in fine form as they keep Carragher out of the team. Charlie Adam improved as the game went on, and Suarez was a constant menace – but dominating the midfield against the billion pound club was Lucas Leiva.