* Man City beat Liverpool 2-1, cut lead to four points
* Sadio Mane hit post for Liverpool in the 18th minute
* Sergio Aguero put City ahead with fierce strike from tight angle
* Roberto Firmino headed Liverpool level in 64th
* City restored lead eight minutes later through Leroy Sane
* Both keepers busy in latter stages of fierce contest
* City host Wolves next, Liverpool at Brighton
Jan 3 (Reuters) - Leroy Sane struck the winner as Manchester City beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in a fierce Premier League contest on Thursday, inflicting the first loss of the season on Juergen Klopp’s side and cutting their lead at the top to four points.
Sadio Mane hit the post for Liverpool in the 18th minute and from the resulting scramble, John Stones’s attempted clearance bounced off his keeper Ederson and the City defender did superbly to clear off the line with the ball millimetres from going in.
It was City who broke through five minutes before the break when Bernardo Silva found Sergio Aguero inside the box and the Argentine unleashed a fierce drive, from the tightest of angles, to fire past Alisson and make it 1-0.
Liverpool responded strongly after the break, though, and drew level when Andrew Robertson met a deep Trent Alexander-Arnold cross with a cushioned volley for Roberto Firmino to head in from close range.
City were not finished, though, and restored their lead in the 72nd minute when Raheem Sterling broke from midfield and fed Sane on the left, the German winger driving home off the inside of the far post.
Aguero went close to a third after Sterling led a swift counter-attack but Alisson was up to the task while at the other end Ederson produced a fine save to keep out a Mohammed Salah effort.
Alisson did well again to keep out a close-range blast from Bernardo Silva in the final minute of normal time.
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond