Story of the Match
But the reprieve proved to be short-lived, as Kevin De Bruyne, so often the difference maker for Manchester City in these high-profile clashes, fired home from the edge of the box. A huge deflection off the leg of Joel Matip leaving Alisson helpless.
Liverpool were slow to get going at the Etihad, but they soon found themselves level. A superb cross field ball by Thiago was cut back to Diogo Jota by the advancing Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Portuguese made no mistake in converting from close range.
City took the lead for a second-time shortly before half-time, as Gabriel Jesus - a surprise selection in Pep Guardiola's starting XI - beat the offside trap to turn home a delightful cross-field ball from Cancelo.
Liverpool were a shadow of their usual selves in the first 45, but whatever Jurgen Klopp said to them at half-time worked, as the visitors found themselves level just 46 seconds after the restart.
It was all too easy from a City perspective though, as Mohammed Salah was afforded far too much time to spin and pick out the run of Sadio Mane, who made no mistake in firing past Ederson to bring the hunting party level.
It looked as though City had taken the lead for a third time shortly after the hour mark, as Sterling raced onto De Bruyne's through ball. But despite finishing expertly past the advancing Alisson, a VAR check confirmed that the Englishman was marginally offside. The scores remained level.
Manchester City had a huge chance to nick all three points at the death as De Bruyne slid Mahrez in behind, but the Algerian's lifted effort had a little too much on it as it flew over the crossbar.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo; Sterling, Jesus, Foden
Manchester United: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson (C), Thiago; Mane, Salah, Jota