MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with Bernardo Silva of Manchester City and Leroy Sane of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester City inflicted Liverpool’s first Premier League defeat of the season to breathe new life into their title defence with a 2-1 victory at the Etihad on Thursday.

City now trail Jurgen Klopp’s men by just four points thanks to Leroy Sane’s winner 18 minutes from time after Roberto Firmino had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s first-half opener for the hosts.

A run of nine straight league wins had given Liverpool a commanding lead at the top of the table as they edged towards a first top flight title since 1989/90, particularly after City suffered back-to-back shock defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester to begin the festive season.

With no more league meetings between the sides to come, Liverpool’s destiny is still in their own hands, but they will now have the pressure of having a City side that romped to the title with a record 100 points last season on their tails.

Jurgen Klopp had predicted a “thunderstorm” of a start from the champions to match the Champions League quarter-final second leg between the sides last season when City roared into an early lead before Liverpool fought back to win 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.