Reds sink defending champions

The game got off to an electrifying start as Adam Lallana was judged to be offside.

FILE: Liverpool players celebrate. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - With Chelsea contesting the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, Manchester City had a chance to narrow the gap at the top of the table to just two points when they took on Liverpool at Anfield.

The game got off to an electrifying start as Adam Lallana was judged to be offside despite putting the ball in the back of the net.

The captain for the day, Jordan Henderson, sent the Reds crowd into a frenzy when he fired in a scorcher past Joe Hart to hand his side the lead after 11 minutes.

City regained focus and managed to string some great passes together thanks to David Silva and Sergio Aguero, which resulted in Edin Dzeko levelling matters for the visitors after slotting the ball between Simon Mignolet's legs.

After a quiet half an hour of play in the second half, Phillipe Coutinho, who had terrorized the City defence the whole day, put the cherry on top of his brilliant performance with a scintillating strike that found its way into the top corner of Hart's goal.

The defending champions threw in 28 million pound signing Wilfried Bony to try add some ferocity to the attack but nothing would come of the substitution as last season's runner up walked away with all three points to dent City's title hopes.

2-1 is how it ended, meaning that City remain five points behind Chelsea, while Liverpool move into fifth on the log on 48 points.