Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the Premier League season after Leroy Sane's 72nd-minute victor at the Etihad Stadium. City have now cut the gap to just four points at the top of the table and we now have a serious title race on our hands.
City's recent run of three defeats in five games had raised questions over whether the champions had the durability to sustain a title challenge with a Liverpool side who have had an air of invincibility about them.
The game at the Etihad Stadium lived up to its billing with both sides showing that for all their trademark attractive football, they can go hard in a physical battle when so much is on the line.
Injuries to key personnel is one major factor, with Benjamin Mendy missed at left-back and his replacement, Fabian Delph, missing due to suspension. That brought him in direct opposition with Mohamed Salah but Liverpool were initially unable to test the Frenchman as City dominated possession.
"Liverpool are the ones who are going to have to continue from the front".
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Liverpool had the better of the opening encounters and almost took the lead after John Stones' clearance deflected off of Ederson and came 11 millimetres from crossing the line, but the defender was able to scramble the ball clear.
Dejan Lovren set the tone with a heavy challenge on Aguero early on and Vincent Kompany was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after a risky first-half lunge on Mohamed Salah. "It is closer, every game is a final".
Fernandinho epitomised a City performance that, unlike many of their others, will not win the usual marks for artistic merit but ticked all the boxes for effort and character.
Following a brief moment of worry, the Etihad soon had something to cheer about again as Sane found himself in space when Raheem Sterling spread the ball out left in his direction and he produced a flawless finish in off the post in the 72nd minute at the same goalframe where City had been spared by centimetres in the first half. "It was that or let him go through on goal". City simply have to keep the pressure on and hope they get some help from their rivals against Liverpool.
He threatened to boil over - in fact he did boil over - when referee Anthony Taylor waved play on in the second half, reduced to a scarf-throwing, arm-waving figure of fury as he confronted fourth official Martin Atkinson before order was restored after a visit from the man in the middle.