By the end of an absorbing afternoon Kopites didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
How to make sense of a frenetic, fascinating contest which ended in stalemate at the Etihad Stadium. Talk about mixed feelings.
As Jurgen Klopp warmly embraced Pep Guardiola on the touchline, the Liverpool boss knew it could have been so much better.
Adam Lallana will be having nightmares for the next fortnight about the gilt-edged opportunity he spurned to secure what would have been a cherished victory.
But Manchester City had regrets of their own with Sergio Aguero, who had cancelled out James Milner's penalty, missing a sitter at the death.
It finished 1-1 when in truth it could have been 6-6 such was both teams' ambition and unswerving commitment to attacking football.
This was akin to watching two heavyweights who simply refused to take a backwards step and never stopped swinging throughout 12 breathless rounds.
No wonder so many dropped to their knees after the final whistle – by then both sets of players were shattered and running on empty. The intensity of the contest was staggering.
Yes, if Liverpool had been more clinical they would landed a sizeable blow in the race for Champions League qualification. But in the cold light of day it's a decent point for Klopp's side, who lifted the bar considerably after the scrappy triumph over Burnley.
Momentum has been maintained going into the international break and their push for a top-four finish remains very much on track.
Four points clear of Manchester United, who have two games in hand, there is little margin for error.
But with second placed Tottenham only three points better off, there is no reason why Liverpool shouldn't be looking up rather than over their shoulder during the run-in.
The high-stakes contests have brought out the best in Klopp's men this season – underlined by their fine record of five wins and five draws against the top six.
However, this campaign will ultimately be defined by their ability to deal with inferior opposition who don't go toe to toe with them like City did.
For Klopp, there was an abundance of positives for him to reflect upon as he prepares to take a depleted squad – shorn of his internationals – to Tenerife for a training camp on Monday.
Emre Can produced arguably his best performance in a Liverpool shirt as he put in a huge shift in front of the back four. The Germany international covered every blade of grass and won battle after battle.
If Can was the pick of the bunch, Gini Wijnaldum wasn't far behind as the Dutchman shone alongside him in the centre of the park.
Sadio Mane's pace and trickery caused City no end of problems, while at the other end Joel Matip oozed class as he repeatedly sensed danger and dealt with it to help repel the hosts' advances.
Ragnar Klavan settled after a dodgy start to justify Klopp's faith in picking him ahead of Dejan Lovren.
What did hurt Liverpool was Roberto Firmino's lack of sharpness in front of goal. The Brazilian attacker had only returned to full training on Saturday after being hampered by a thigh problem and it showed.
Firmino still produced moments of real class but his finishing let him down and let City off the hook.
Liverpool's three successive league wins over City since Klopp took over all had one thing in common – a lightning fast start.
But this time they couldn't replicate it. Instead Guardiola's side, stung by the torrent of criticism which accompanied their Champions League exit at the hands of Monaco, came out fighting as the rain lashed down at the Etihad.
City purred as an attacking force as they took control early on and it required some desperate defending for the gutsy Reds to remain on level terms.
The hosts targeted Liverpool's left-hand side where Milner had his hands full dealing with Raheem Sterling, who didn't go AWOL against his former club on this occasion.
Time and time again Sterling was a menace. Milner wasn't helped by the lack of protection in front of him with Philippe Coutinho out of sorts and on the periphery once again.
Somehow Liverpool survived with Matip a commanding presence as he made some vital interceptions.
On the other flank Leroy Sane made life tough for Nathaniel Clyne but to his credit the Reds full-back belatedly got to grips with that challenge.
Liverpool didn't look after the ball well enough in the first half and invited pressure with Klopp waving his arms furiously and demanding a greater show of composure.
Sterling played in Sane whose low cross was blocked by Simon Mignolet. The ball dropped into the path of David Silva, who lashed it inches wide of the upright.
Liverpool's cause before the interval was hampered by being on the wrong end of some big decisions from Michael Oliver. Yaya Toure was lucky to escape with a yellow card after recklessly planting his studs on Can's shoulder.
Klopp was raging again soon after. Mane burst away from Nicolas Otamendi and as the winger shaped to shoot he went down after tangling with the Argentine defender. No penalty, no red card.
Liverpool had more pleas for a spot-kick waved away soon after when Wijnaldum was bundled over by Toure after expertly nutmegging the outclassed Ivorian.
Both defences were creaking and the Reds were grateful that Oliver failed to punish Milner's challenge on Sterling, who looked destined to convert Silva's low cross. Somehow Fernandinho knocked it wide.
Liverpool got better the longer the game went on with Firmino's curler clawed away by Willy Caballero, who also expertly denied Lallana.
Six minutes into the second half the visitors led. Firmino collected Can's clipped pass on his chest before being clattered by Gael Clichy.
As Klopp turned his back, Milner stepped up to convert his seventh penalty of the season. It was the perfect way for the former City man to silence the boo boys.
Suddenly, Liverpool were dominant. Coutinho played in Firmino but he couldn't beat Caballero. It proved costly as Aguero soon levelled – clinically tucking away De Bruyne's cross from the right.
Divock Origi came on for Coutinho as the Reds continued to look potent on the counter but Firmino twice drilled wide when well placed.
De Bruyne struck the post before Lallana was left red faced. Wijnaldum and Firmino combined brilliantly to put it on a plate for him six yards out.
Lallana could have taken a touch and rolled it home but opted to hit it first time and fluffed his kick. He looked across to the assistant wondering if an offside flag might spare his blushes. It didn't.
The finale was breathless. The sight of dozens of City fans heading for an early dart was mind-boggling.
Hearts were in mouths in the away end when Sterling went close and then the unmarked Aguero blazed over at the back post.
Honours even was about right.
Relief? Yes. Regrets? A few. Pride? Loads of it.
Source: Liverpool Echo
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.