Georginio Wijnaldum’s soaring eighth-minute header from Adam Lallana’s cross was enough to put Liverpool in second place and put a serious dent in City’s own title challenge.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp led the celebrations at the end of a game that was high on energy but sadly lacking in any moments of genuine quality.
City, who laboured throughout, improved in the second half but never seriously threatened Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and this loss leaves them 10 points adrift of Chelsea.
Klopp gets better of Pep
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola were meeting for the first time in England
This was the first Premier League meeting between two huge personalities straight from the top tier of management – and it brought a victory for Jurgen Klopp to cherish at Pep Guardiola’s expense.
The head-to-head was locked at 4-4 after their meetings in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. This was a different stage with different prizes on offer – but it was an occasion that was just as charged.
Klopp, in 15 months, has revitalised Liverpool and given hope to supporters longing to end the wait for a first title since 1990. And as they continue their pursuit of relentless Chelsea, belief continues to grow that the charismatic German can still haul in Antonio Conte’s side.
Liverpool’s manager was, as usual, celebrating with his players after the final whistle before pumping his chest in mock relief in front of Anfield’s huge new Main Stand.
And, when City fleetingly threatened a second-half comeback, he turned cheerleader in front of those same fans with a demand to lift the noise levels that was met instantly.
Klopp has become the new Anfield talisman. Under him, the transformation of his team and the mood around the club continues.
Something else that will give Liverpool’s fans great heart is the way in which Klopp is getting results against his closest rivals.
Since his appointment in October 2015, Klopp has faced a total of 13 Premier League games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. He has lost only one – a single goal defeat by United last season.
He has also enjoyed a Europa League win over two legs against United, although the balance is redressed slightly by a loss on penalties against Manchester City in last season’s Capital One Cup final.