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BBC Sport's John Murray reports
City held by Reds
 real 14k

Man City manager Joe Royle
"There was a lot of heroes out there tonight"
 real 56k

Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
"You have to give credit to the opposition"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 22:45 GMT
Man City stifle poor Liverpool
Shaun Goater and Jari Litmanen
Goater and Litmanen contest possession
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool

Danny Tiatto grabbed a valuable point for Manchester City against a Liverpool side that surrendered a lead away from home for the fifth time this season.

Emile Heskey had given the Reds the lead just before half-time with his 17th goal of the season, but Tiatto's strike three minutes after the restart lifts struggling City level on points with fourth from bottom Derby.

Liverpool, meanwhile, missed the chance to move up to third place after a tedious tussle at Maine Road.

There was no place in the City side for wantaway striker Paolo Wanchope with Shaun Goater taking his place in attack.

Emile Heskey
Heskey scores Liverpool's goal
Gerard Houllier, facing the first of seven matches in 26 days, again rotated his squad. Jari Litmanen replaced Robbie Fowler, Nicky Barmby missed out with an ankle injury, while Steven Gerrard returned from injury.

However, the England midfielder, who played at right-back in the Worthington semi-final, lined up at left-back, with Christian Ziege playing on the left of midfield.

His international colleague, Markus Babbel, sent a looping header over in the first attack of note, but the opening exchanges were characterised by caution.

Liverpool gradually assumed control of the match and should have taken the lead after 24 minutes, but Vladimir Smicer was guilty of one of the worst misses of the season.

We've not lost for three games and have tightened up considerably. They are one of the best three teams in the country, so it's a good point for us
  Joe Royle, Man City manager
Gary McAllister's corner was flicked on at the near post, setting up a free header on the goal-line for Smicer, but he somehow diverted his effort wide with Heskey ready to pounce behind him.

As City began to assert themselves before half-time, Sami Hyypia made a timely block from Huckerby's cross; Huckerby himself was denied by a block by Westerveld; and Goater shot over from close range.

Liverpool's main threat was McAllister's corners, with Litmanen and Heskey having efforts blocked by desperate City defenders in successive minutes.

Kanchelskis bow

Another half-cleared corner was the basis for the opening goal after 43 minutes.

Litmanen released Smicer, and the Czech atoned for his earlier miss with a perfect cross for Heskey to plant his header emphatically past Nicky Weaver.

Steven Gerrard and Shaun Goater
Gerrard and Goater tangle
City introduced new signing Andrei Kanchelskis for Andy Morrison at half-time, and equalised within three minutes. A ricochet fell perfectly for Goater, whose cut-back was met by Tiatto, who hammered the ball to the roof of the net.

Liverpool almost hit back immediately, but Litmanen's effort was blocked. And, as the visitors immediately set about regaining their lead, Bernard Diomede replaced Ziege for his first appearance since September.

But they again showed their capacity for missing great chances, with McAllister firing high and wide when put clear by a poor back pass after 58 minutes.

Their intent was made clear when Robbie Fowler replaced Litmanen on the hour.

We had enough chances to win and we could have won. But in the end football is about scoring. On the whole it was a good draw. It's always difficult against a team playing for their lives - and they are fighting for their lives. They tried hard and deserved their draw.
  Gerard Houllier, Liverpool manager
But the England striker had few chances despite Liverpool's domiance. Indeed, City could have went ahead after 70 minutes when Kanchelskis released Huckerby, but his shot went across the face of the goal and narrowly wide.

With Litmanen off, Liverpool looked incapable of translating possession into chances. Fowler set up Heskey after 78 minutes, but he flashed a shot the wrong side of the post.

Liverpool laid siege to the City goal in the final minutes, but Fowler's shot that bobbled just wide was the closest they came to a winner.

Man City: Weaver, Haaland, Tiatto, Morrison, Howey, Whitley, Dunne, Wiekens, Granville, Goater, Huckerby.
Subs: Kanchelskis, Grant, Prior, Ritchie, Nash.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Hamann, Ziege, Henchoz, Hyypia, Smicer, Gerrard, McAllister, Babbel, Litmanen, Heskey.
Subs: Fowler, Diomede, Biscan, Nielsen, Vignal.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

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