Last Updated: 30/12/13 3:47pm
The final whistle goes and Manchester City have beaten Liverpool 2-1 in a thrilling encounter to climb above their rivals. There may have been no goals in the second half but the pace of the game has never relented for a second and both sides can be proud of their performances, with Liverpool left to rue some missed chances after City had come from behind in the first period.
Luis Suarez further endears himself, or not, to the Man City crowd as he raises a high foot near Joe Hart as he tries to take the ball out of the air. He did not make contact with the City keeper but is given a yellow card.
Boos ring out around the Etihad Stadium for a perceived dive by Luis Suarez in the Man City box. Replays show Joleon Lescott was tugging his shirt, but there has been plenty of that going on in both areas all game and Suarez's theatrical fall did not help.
Aleksandar Kolarov steps up to unleash a ferocious free-kick but it is straight at Simon Mignolet and a routine save for the Liverpool keeper.
Yaya Toure drives to the byline and drags back a cross into the centre which just evades his team-mates.
Liverpool win a free-kick but it is at least 30 yards from goal and that is too far, even for Luis Suarez, as his powerful strike sails harmlessly over the crossbar.
Man City are just starting to sit back for the first time now in a bid to protect their lead, with Liverpool committing more bodies to attack.
Another attacking change from Liverpool sees Iago Aspas come on for Lucas with just a few minutes left to play.
There has been such a frantic pace to this game that the players are bound to be feeling the effects, as Luis Suarez complains to the referee that he should have had a penalty after being barged over by Joleon Lescott right on the edge of the area.
Alvaro Negredo has picked up a knock and hobbles off to be replaced by Edin Dzeko for the closing stages.
Luis Suarez bursts into life with another wonderful run down the right, twisting and turning away from Joleon Lescott before winning Liverpool a throw-in near the byline.
Raheem Sterling squanders a golden opportunity to equalise as he is picked out at the back post by Luis Suarez, but he cannot keep his first-time shot down.
Another great chance for Liverpool as Jordan Henderson tries to turn in a low cross from the left with an extravagant back-heel, but Joe Hart is again there to make the save.
The ball breaks for Glen Johnson in the area as Man City make a mess of clearing Jordan Henderson's pass. It is a glorious chance but his first touch is far too heavy and allows Joe Hart to come out and save with his legs.
Glen Johnson becomes the first player to be shown a yellow card following a cynical clip of Aleksandar Kolarov near the touchline.
Mamadou Sakho puts Liverpool in trouble a couple of times in quick succession with poor touches, but he is bailed out by the quick reactions of his team-mates.
Glen Johnson charges into the area but cannot get past Aleksandar Kolarov, who uses his strength to shield the ball.
Some respite for Liverpool as Raheem Sterling's pass crashes into the arm of Alvaro Negredo in midfield to give the visitors a free-kick.
Vincent Kompany floats a long pass over the top of the Liverpool defence for Alvaro Negredo to chase. It is a nice idea which is applauded by the striker, but the ball is just too heavy and runs straight out of play.
Liverpool started the second half strongly but now the momentum seems to be back with Man City and they will be confident of scoring again to perhaps put this game to bed.
Fernandinho embarks on a direct midfield run and plays it wide to Pablo Zabaleta, but Liverpool manage to scramble it clear.
Alvaro Negredo tries to heap more misery on Simon Mignolet with an exquisite chip from 20 yards. The Liverpool keeper appears deceived by the flight of the ball for an instant, but then back-pedals safely to pluck the ball out of the air.
Man City are so quick on the counter-attack and Jesus Navas is probably the fastest of the lot, but on this occasion his cross in to the centre is too high for Alvaro Negredo.
It takes a strong player to stop Yaya Toure in full flow but Lucas shows his tigerish qualities with an excellent tackle.
A relatively sedate passage of play as Liverpool patiently pass it around in midfield ends when a rare sloppy pass gives Man City a chance to break.
Man City have been on the back foot so far in this second half but always look a threat when they spring forward, with the pace of Jesus Navas and creativity of Samir Nasri and David Silva.
Raheem Sterling lifts a tremendous pass through for Jordan Henderson but Joe Hart does well to get out and smother his shot. The ball ricochets dangerously in the area and Aleksandar Kolarov is caught in possession by Luis Suarez after inexplicably delaying his clearance, but the Uruguayan's next pass results in the offside flag going up.
Luis Suarez shows typically nimble footwork to wriggle his way into the area, but he decides to go for goal from the narrowest of angles and Joe Hart stands tall to make a smart save.
Glen Johnson delivers a fine cross from the left towards Luis Suarez in the centre, which Vincent Kompany reads expertly to make the interception.
Liverpool enjoy a spell of controlled passing before Jordan Henderson tries to curl an ambitious shot into the top corner with the outside of his boot from 25 yards, and hits it just over the top.
Liverpool get the second half started and if the next 45 minutes is anything like the previous half, we will have a Premier League classic to cherish.
The half-time whistle goes and Man City lead 2-1 after a pulsating 45 minutes of football. There have been chances galore and some exhilarating passages of play, with Liverpool playing their part but behind at the break.
GOAL! Alvaro Negredo puts Man City in front on the stroke of half-time and it is another fabulous goal, although Simon Mignolet has to hold his hands up and accept a lot of the blame. It is a wonderful break from the hosts as Samir Nasri releases Jesus Navas down the right and he picks out Negredo with a precise pass. His poked shot from the edge of the area should be saved, though, as Mignolet gets a hand to the ball but not firmly enough to prevent it from bouncing over the line.
Now it is City's turn to have a chance as Alvaro Negredo races through on goal and looks to get off a shot from a narrow angle, but Martin Skrtel is able to dive in with a crucial block to take the ball past the post.
Joe Hart pulls off a stupendous save to keep out a Phillipe Coutinho shot and deny what would perhaps have been the goal of the season. It was another flowing move from Liverpool which ended with Luis Suarez brilliantly cushioning a pass into the path of Coutinho after the ball had been chipped into the box, but Hart had the final word with an acrobatic save down low to his left.
There is a breathless ebb and flow to this game with both sides refusing to back down from their attacking philosophies.
Man City again catch out Liverpool with a swift counter-attack but on this occasion the wrong option is taken by Jesus Navas, who decides to shoot rather than pass and drags a rather tame low effort straight at Simon Mignolet.
Joe Hart has to rush quickly off his line to gather the ball before Philippe Coutinho can reach Joe Allen's attempted through-ball.
What a game this is turning into, as Man City turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye with a lightning-fast attack. Jesus Navas has a chance to fire them in front as he cuts inside from the left, but blazes his shot high and wide.
GOAL! Man City draw level at 1-1 as Vincent Kompany shows his aerial prowess from the corner with a well-taken header, directed into the bottom corner.
Man City appear angry to be behind on their home turf and win a free-kick in a good position just outside the Liverpool box on the right. The delivery is poor but City still manage to earn a corner.
Man City almost grab a quick equaliser as Yaya Toure gets off a shot just a few yards from goal, but Martin Skrtel is not afraid to put his body on the line and makes the block to concede the corner.
Liverpool look full of confidence now and it is the travelling fans making most of the noise. City need to regroup and raise their game.
GOAL! Philippe Coutinho makes it 1-0 to Liverpool after another slick move, as a series of one-touch passes pulls Man City out of position. Luis Suarez plays it into the area and Raheem Sterling knocks it past Joe Hart. He could try and finish himself but Coutinho is slightly better placed and turns the ball in from a tight angle.
Philippe Coutinho feeds Joe Allen after Luis Suarez cleverly draws Joleon Lescott away from the danger area, but the Welshman's first touch is poor and allows City to recover.
Both sides are looking positive in possession and so far the game has lived up to its billing, with Liverpool starting to see a lot more of the ball.
Unlucky for Liverpool as Man City try to catch Raheem Sterling in their offside trap by playing a high line. Sterling times his run to perfection to latch on to a Luis Suarez through-ball and should have just Joe Hart to beat, but the flag is raised incorrectly.
Man City's full-backs offer such an attacking outlet and this time it is Aleksandar Kolarov who gets to the byline and cuts back a menacing cross for Alvaro Negredo, whose first-time strike is knocked badly wide.
Pablo Zabaleta loses the ball in an advanced area and Luis Suarez seizes on the chance to skilfully turn away from Vincent Kompany and set Liverpool on a rapid counter-attack. He plays the ball forward for Raheem Sterling and the youngster's pace takes him into the area, but Joleon Lescott slides in with a well-timed tackle in the area.
Luis Suarez has not had much of a sniff so far but he does not need a lot of room to conjure up his magic and manages to get in front of his defender from the corner, glancing a header just off target.
Liverpool relieve the pressure with a decent spell of possession and earn a corner as Aly Cissokho's deep cross from the left is headed behind by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Man City work their way into another threatening position before Yaya Toure lets fly with a powerful shot from 20 yards which flies narrowly wide.
City's movement and one-touch passing is a joy to behold and they are really stretching Liverpool early on. They win a corner and it is nearly 1-0 as Vincent Kompany wins the aerial duel but can only direct his header wide of Simon Mignolet's left-hand post.
City raid down the right once again as Jesus Navas releases the overlapping Pablo Zabaleta, but his low delivery is intercepted by Martin Skrtel.
There is a great tempo to the game at the moment as Alvaro Negredo delights the crowd with an extravagant attempt to bring down a long ball and play it back to a team-mate, but unfortunately his control just lets him down.
Samir Nasri has a shot blocked by Raheem Sterling but Man City's intensity is relentless as they come again, and Jesus Navas clips the outside of the post with a header from Aleksandar Kolarov's cross.
Philippe Coutinho tries his luck with a shot from distance but it lacks both power and direction as a weak effort is dragged well wide.
An immediate warning for Liverpool of the threat posed by Man City comes down the hosts' right as Pablo Zabaleta, Jesus Navas and David Silva combine nicely, before Simon Mignolet does well to hold a low cross.
There is a great atmosphere around the ground and everyone is expecting a thriller, as Man City try to gain early control of the midfield battle.
Man City kick us off at the Etihad Stadium and let us hope for a Christmas cracker. All the signs are that this will be an open, free-flowing game
Nish says: "Liverpool's full-backs could be exposed, but Suarez might have too much quality for City's defence too. Should be interesting to see how Liverpool's energetic midfield copes with Fernandinho and Yaya, but I think they might just cancel out. Hoping for a cracking game but records and runs are there to be broken... I'm going for a tight 1-0 win for the men in the red, Sakho header."
Anth says: "Liverpool to trounce Man City 3-1 with the City defence getting found wanting by Suarez, Coutinho and Sterling."
Chris in Germany writes: "I can't believe some people will think Liverpool will not score in this match. 3-1 to the pools my bet. YNWA."
The big team news for Manchester City is that defender Pablo Zabaleta makes his first appearance after a fortnight out injured. There are three changes to the City side as Joleon Lescott and Jesus Navas also come in and Martin Demichelis, Gael Clichy and Edin Dzeko drop out. For Liverpool, there is just one enforced change from the weekend win over Cardiff with a hamstring injury to Jon Flanagan meaning on-loan Valencia left-back Aly Cissokho comes in for his first appearance since November 9.
Why not check out the latest odds with Sky Bet ahead of the match? Man City are at 4/5 to win and Liverpool 100/30, while a draw is 3/1. Alvaro Negredo and Luis Suarez are also both at 4/1 to open the scoring.
Nathan says: "City have patched up their biggest weaknesses which are in defence. Surprised Zabaleta recovered so quickly and happy that Lescott is in for Demichelis who I do not rate at all. Only seeing a City win as the result - no matter how good one player is Liverpool won't be able to cope with the quality that City have throughout the pitch. 2-0 City."
"It's Alex from Aberdeen, I'm a city fan and I think this is going to be a true test for their title-winning credentials. I think they'll win 4-3 with goals from Negredo, Toure and Silva and a Luis Suarez hat-trick. Come on the Citizens."
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Silva, Nasri, Negredo. Subs: Milner, Dzeko, Javi Garcia, Clichy, Pantilimon, Nastasic, Boyata.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Cissokho, Henderson, Allen, Lucas, Sterling, Suarez, Coutinho. Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Agger, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Smith.
Brendan Rodgers believes it is time that Man City's perfect run came to an end, and Liverpool are entitled to feel confident after a four-match winning streak that catapulted them to the festive top spot. If Man City have been irresistible in front of goal then so have the Reds, especially Luis Suarez, who has already netted ten times this month, and a victory here would surely banish any doubts about whether they are genuine title contenders.
Manchester City have been sensational at the Etihad Stadium so far this season, winning all eight of their home games and scoring 35 goals in the process. The reputation of their opponents has not mattered either, with six put past both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal and four against Manchester United. They also beat Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage before Christmas to improve their record away from home, and a victory today would lift them above Liverpool.
Peter Humphries is the first to get in touch, saying: "With Gerard's festive holiday continuing Liverpool will match City's pace in midfield. Coutinho needs to be on top of his game if we are going to win. Liverpool win 3-1. Surarez quiet today - just a hat-trick! 12pts over Xmas. Should see a couple of players in early January. Gerrard, Sturridge back ready for the FA Cup. A double to add to Liverpool's history."
Both sides are in wonderful form and battling it out at the top of the table in what is turning out to be one of the closest ever title races. Get in touch with your views and predictions ahead of the game at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com, or via Twitter SkySportsLewis. Will Man City continue their relentless march on home soil or are Liverpool playing too well at the moment? The full team news will be in shortly but which players are you particularly interested in following?
Good afternoon, merry Christmas and welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary on the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. For all those who had a few too many sprouts yesterday, or a tad too much brandy, this fixture promises to a fantastic festive treat and the perfect way to recover, so just sit back, relax and follow the action.