The Reds made a positive start to the contest, but were undone midway through the opening period when Edin Dzeko ghosted into the box to convert James Milner’s low center from close range.
But Liverpool leveled up before the half-hour mark when Sturridge fired into the bottom corner from distance.
The visitors began to dominate and they got the goal their display merited when Gerrard netted with a volley from distance after pouncing on Gael Clichy’s clearance.
However, City secured a point when Sergio Aguero beat Pepe Reina to a long ball into the box and netted from a tight angle to ensure the points were shared.
Following the spirited midweek draw at Arsenal, Brendan Rodgers elected to make just one change to his line up with the fit-again Jose Enrique replacing Andre Wisdom in defense.
The Reds had impressed right from the off at the Emirates, but within 60 seconds of the game getting underway at the Etihad, Reina was required to tip a stinging David Silva drive over the bar.
Liverpool stood up firmly to the hosts’ early pressure and, in the 14th minute, carved out a brilliant opening when a free-flowing move resulted in Sturridge touching a lofted pass into the box beyond Joe Hart, but Pablo Zabaleta was on hand to prevent the striker from turning the ball into the unguarded net.
The visitors were looking bright and confident and only an uncharacteristic mis-kick from Luis Suarez prevented Hart from being tested again soon after as he skewed wide from Sturridge’s cutback. The Uruguayan was at it again soon after, drilling wide of the far post after Joleon Lescott’s error.
However, with 24 minutes played, City edged in front. Milner spun towards the touchline and crossed low into the six-yard box to supply Dzeko with a simple tap in.
It was harsh on Liverpool, but Rodgers’ men didn’t have to wait long to restore parity.
Daniel Agger‘s challenge on Dzeko left the City scorer grounded, but play continued and the ball was eventually worked to Sturridge, who drilled into the bottom corner from 20 yards to level up the scoreline against his former club.
City fans and players were furious that Liverpool hadn’t put the ball out of play, but Dzeko was back on his feet almost immediately after the goal had been scored and required no treatment.
Liverpool finished the half the stronger of the sides with Zabaleta almost turning into his own net and a well-executed Suarez volley being foiled by a Hart save.
The interval did little to quell the visitors’ impetus — and City required the intervention of Lescott to prevent Jamie Carragher from turning home Suarez’s volleyed cross after the center-back had remained forward following a corner.
Roberto Mancini‘s side were visibly rocking as the Reds swarmed forward at every opportunity.
A goal from the visitors seemed inevitable and it duly arrived after 73 minutes when Gerrard lashed an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner from distance after chesting the ball down 30 yards from goal.
However, Liverpool’s joy was short-lived as Aguero stole ahead of Reina to a ball into the box and netted out wide from an acute angle to secure a point for City.
Liverpoolfc.com journalists’ man of the match: Daniel Sturridge