Liverpool climbed above Newcastle into third in the Premiership courtesy of an own goal by Manchester City's Republic Of Ireland international defender Terry Phelan and a superb late strike by Robbie Fowler.
The young Liverpool striker had seemed out of sorts for most of the night, having a tame 80th-minute penalty kick well saved by City keeper Andy Dibble, who had brought down Ian Rush.
But two minutes later the inspired Steve McManaman crossed to Fowler who controlled it with one touch on the edge of the box and unleashed a blistering left_foot drive that gave the 'keeper no chance.
Liverpool had driven forward almost constantly with City rarely able to break out and build a meaningful counter-attack.
But, with poor finishing often letting down their promising attacks and 'keeper Dibble in determined mood, it took World Cup full-back Phelan's blunder under pressure to finally break the deadlock after 55 minutes.
Phil Babb crossed from the left for Liverpool, Alan Kernaghan allowed it to pass over his head and, with Fowler lurking at his shoulder, the luckless Phelan headed beyond the desperate dive of his stunned 'keeper.
Liverpool had been full of urgency in the first half, with McManaman at the heart of their most impressive attacking moves, but they struggled to find the target.
Jamie Redknapp's powerful 25-yard drive after four minutes stung the hands of the well-positioned Dibble, but that was the only save the 'keeper had to make before the interval.
Steve Lomas was booked for a late challenge on McManaman after 10 minutes, and was lucky to escape with a lecture for a similar offence 10 minutes later.
In between, McManaman had twice made typical dangerous runs into the City box, pulling a low shot just wide and curling a high effort just beyond the far post.
After 21 minutes McManaman almost capitalised when Dibble over-ran a John Barnes through ball into his box, but Lomas was on hand to clear and moments later Rush flashed a shot just wide.
City's only first-half threat came from Paul Walsh, who fired over after three minutes and then shook off a sliding tackle in the box from Neil Ruddock deep in injury time only to see 'keeper David James close him down and block.
After the break, Liverpool tried to up the tempo and McManaman twice fired straight at Dibble.
After 57 minutes McManaman brought a fine save out of the 'keeper and five minutes later he surged brilliantly into the heart of the City defence only to see his final effort deflected narrowly wide.
The irrepressible youngster again broke forward to fire from the edge of the box after 67 minutes, but Dibble read it and got down to smother.
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