Just one point separates the two teams at the top of the standings after first-place City was held to a thrilling 4-4 draw at Chelsea on Sunday.
It sets up a tantalizing clash between City and Liverpool on Nov. 25 after the international break.
Last season’s runner-up Arsenal is also a point behind City and in third place on goal difference. Tottenham is fourth, two points off City, after back-to-back losses.
Liverpool’s potential challenge comes after slipping out of contention last year as Jurgen Klopp embarked on a refresh of a squad that had won every major trophy from 2019-22.
A disappointing campaign saw the 19-time champions fail to qualify for the Champions League and raise questions over whether they would be able to challenge City again as star players like Sadio Mane departed.
Klopp's new-look team is answering all of those doubts, while Salah remains its talisman, with the Egypt international scoring a landmark 200th goal in English soccer against Brentford.
Salah put Liverpool on course to extend its 100% home record this season with goals in each half at Anfield. Diogo Jota added a third.
The win saw Liverpool move above Arsenal and it was then over to City to see if it could open up a three-point lead going into the international break. And when Rodri scored with a deflected shot in the 86th, it looked like Guardiola's team had overcome a major test at Chelsea.
Instead, Cole Palmer, who only left City in September, came back to haunt his former team by converting a penalty in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
Manuel Akanji evened the score again before halftime and Haaland made it 3-2 to City just after the break.
Nicolas Jackson pulled it back to 3-3 before Rodri and Palmer's goals.
“It was a good advert and entertaining game for the Premier League and both teams wanted to win," Guardiola said. “I wouldn’t have expected differently. Chelsea have a fantastic team and players.”
City may come to regret letting Palmer go in the off-season.
It wasn't as if the 21-year-old attacking midfielder hadn't shown his potential to the club he'd been at for 15 years after rising through its academy.
Palmer scored important goals against Arsenal in the Community Shield and Sevilla in the European Super Cup before City accepted a bid of around $52 million from Chelsea.
He has already established himself as an important part of Mauricio Pochettino's plans, scoring four goals in 11 games. And he showed impressive composure when waiting to take his spot kick deep into stoppage time at Stamford Bridge.
Against a goalkeeper he knows well in Ederson, Palmer fired with a power and precision into the left corner to send the home fans wild.
“His personality and character, he is a player that arrived in the last moment and he is showing great character and performance," Pochettino said. “I thought before the game we needed to be careful to him to give time to improve and more experience, but he is improving every single game. I am happy for him and the team.”
HAALAND vs. SALAH
Haaland and Salah scored two goals each on Sunday to continue their impressive runs this season.
Haaland has 17 in all competitions, while Salah has 12 and also reached the landmark of 200 in English soccer with his second-half header against Brentford.
Salah also became the first Liverpool player to score in each of its opening six league home games of a season.
Unai Emery has turned Villa Park into a fortress.
Aston Villa beat Fulham 3-1 on Sunday to make it 13 straight home wins in the Premier League. It is that form that has put the top four within sight for a team that looked in danger of relegation before Emery was hired last year.
“Now today we can be happy and optimistic about where we are. But you have to be very consistent. It’s very difficult," Emery said. “We’ll try to work hard to be there.”
Villa is now just one point behind fourth-place Tottenham.
After the highs of last season, it's down to earth for Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi.
The Italian is suffering his worst league run since taking over last year, with Sunday's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United extending the Seagulls' winless run to six games.
De Zerbi led Brighton to its highest finish last season — sixth — and qualified for the Europa League. But his team has not won a league match since beating Bournemouth 3-1 on Sept. 24.
The draw saw Sheffield United move off the bottom of the standings and above Burnley.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
James Robson, The Associated Press