LONDON:  Manchester City lost more ground on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League after being held 2-2 at home by Liverpool; the champions are now nine points adrift in second place.

Manager Roberto Mancini was rewarded for his choice of Edin Dzeko in attack instead of Carlos Tevez when the Bosnian struck his 11th goal of the season. But City ‘old boy’ Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard – with a vintage style 25m drive – struck back.

City were rescued by an amazing, narrow-angled strike from Sergio Aguero after a suicidal race out of goal by Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina.

After the game Aguero tweeted: “My kid said to me today: ‘You’ll score a goal for me today, won’t you, daddy?’ So today’s goal is dedicated to him. Love you, Ben!”

Earlier German midfielder Lewis Holtby celebrated his first victory as a Tottenham player in the 1-0 win at West Bromwich.

Holtby came on as a 39th-minute substitute after striker Jermain Defoe suffered an ankle injury which will rule him out of England’s Wembley friendly against Brazil.

Having made his debut as a late substitute in midweek at Norwich, Holtby said: “The lads here are making it easy for me. It’s a fantastic club and team. I enjoy coming in to training every day and, especially, playing in games like this. It’s unbelievable.”

The magnificent Gareth Bale’s 11th goal of the season lifted Tottenham within one point of third-placed Chelsea. Spurs were helped by West Brom fullback Goran Popov’s stupidity in being sent off for spitting at Kyle Walker.

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