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PREMIER LEAGUE: Balotelli sees red but Man City gain point at Liverpool

Honours were even at Anfield as two first half goals saw Manchester City and Liverpool finish all square at 1-1 with substitute Mario Balotelli dismissed for the visitor's after the break. Manchester City have now failed to win at Liverpool in their last nine games and whilst they did take the lead, parity was quickly restored by Liverpool for a point which was probably a fair result.

Liverpool flooded midfield and whilst City were allowed to spray the passes around they were unable to find a cutting edge in the final third. After the break City tired as the half wore on and it was the Reds who looked the more likely to score with Joe Hart keeping the visitor's unbeaten record in the Premiership intact.

City took the lead just after the half-hour from skipper Vincent Kompany who headed home David Silva's corner.

Roberto Mancini probably hoped the league leaders would kick-on from that goal but instead found themselves pegged back within a couple of minutes.

Charlie Adam had a hopeful punt at goal from distance and Joleon Lescott stuck out a foot to divert the ball past Hart. Liverpool then took the game to City and ended the half the stronger.

Liverpool took their unbeaten league run to eight games and almost followed up their fine win at Chelsea last week with the notable scalp of City as they gradually increased the pressure on the table toppers.

Balotelli had already been booked during his 18 minute cameo when the Italian clumsily challenged Martin Skrtel with his elbow and was shown a second yellow leaving City eight minutes to survive with ten men.

Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Dirk Kuyt and substitute Andy Carroll all went close in a frantic finale but the visitor's defence, and in particular Hart, stood firm.

In fact David Villa almost won it for City but he fluffed his lines with only Jose Reina to beat, but the Manchester side maintain their five point lead over rivals United at the top of the Premiership.

Liverpool's Wales forward Craig Bellamy was left out following the death of Gary Speed.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Venue: Anfield

Attendance: 45,071

Liverpool scorers: Lescott og 33 Man City scorers: Kompany 31

TRIBAL ASKS: Did this game show just how much Liverpool have improved this season? Yellow cards: Kompany (MANC), Barry (MANC), Balotelli (MANC), Carroll (LIV), Milner (MANC) Red card: Balotelli

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Dave Williams

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