Ten-man Manchester City restored their five-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League table after playing out a tightly-contested 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
Roberto Mancini's side dropped points for only the second time this season, when Joleon Lescott's deflected own goal, cancelled out City captain Vincent Kompany's first-half header which gave the visitors the advantage.
The Citizens boss celebrated his 47th birthday on a day of mixed emotions that has been overshadowed by the tragic news of Gary Speed's death, after he was found at his Cheshire home early on Sunday morning.
Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy was omitted from the matchday squad, meaning Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez led the Reds line, but it was City who dominated in the early stages and thoroughly deserved their lead.
Second half substitute Mario Balotelli was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the space of 17 minutes, which gave Liverpool the impetus to push for a winner - and Joe Hart pulled off a fine double save from Andy Carroll and the lively Suarez right at the death to ensure a share of the spoils.
The draw means City couldn't take advantage of Manchester United's result at home to Newcastle, while Liverpool stay sixth - three points off the Magpies in fourth spot.