A 2-0 victory ensured that for the third visit in succession, Liverpool were led away from the KCOM Stadium with tails firmly between their legs by a Hull City on the up under Marco Silva.
Although Jurgen Klopp's side swamped their hosts between the goals of Alfred N'Diaye and Oumar Niasse, the Tigers refused to buckle to keep their first clean sheet at home in this Premier League season.
A fifth victory of the season felt like the most significant yet for City. Back to within a point of the pack gathering above the relegation zone, the Tigers are suddenly brimming with belief that this season can end well.
Where to start? For the first time this campaign, City were able to conquer a side from the top half of the Premier League, and Liverpool might not be the last victims of Silva's revival if these are the standards set for the season.
The Tigers were resilient and commanding as a defensive unit, limiting Liverpool to just a few clear-cut chances over the 90 minutes. That's back-to-back clean-sheets against Manchester United and Liverpool, a feat that would have seemed implausible when conceding 15 goals in the last six games of Mike Phelan's reign. Tom Huddlestone, the calm head in midfield, continued his outstanding run of form.
It was one of those days when it was almost impossible to find fault in a side fighting for its life in the Premier League. Perhaps the only real blemish was an injury to captain Michael Dawson during the warm-up. Although it handed Andrea Ranocchia the chance to shine on his full Premier League debut, City will be sweating the results of a scan on Dawson's calf on Monday.
With Curtis Davies already out for eight weeks, there is no other central defensive cover left.
8 (out of 10) -- After outfoxing Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, City's bright, young coach had Klopp's number at the KCOM Stadium. It is impossible not to be impressed with this quietly spoken newcomer to the Premier League.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Eldin Jakupovic, 7 -- His two excellent saves kept Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson out in the second half, but City's in-form keeper had survived an early scare when not punished for dropping a cross at the feet of Philippe Coutinho.
DF Omar Elabdellaoui, 7 -- He showed marked improvements from a poor display at Fulham in the FA Cup, with his positional play much better at right-back. He went through the wars with a broken nose and curbed Liverpool's advances from his flank.
DF Harry Maguire, 7 -- He continues to seize his long-awaited chance in the Premier League, even if dipping slightly below his recent high standards. He showed good concentration but was booked for an awfully reckless challenge on Mane.
DF Andrea Ranocchia, 8 -- Ranocchia was a late, late call-up to the starting XI when Dawson was injured in the warm-up, and he let no one down on his full debut. He blocked and cleared countless attacks before setting Niasse free for his goal at the end.
DF Andy Robertson, 7 -- He summed up the desire of his side. Even though he was given a stern examination by the lively Mane, he persisted to come out on top when an excellent slide tackle set up a break for Niasse.
MF Kamil Grosicki, 6 -- He displayed signs of the skill and pace that made him City's most exciting January signing, and more will be seen of him against the lesser sides. He was forced to muck in with more defensive work than he would have liked.
MF Tom Huddlestone, 8 -- City fans thought the midfielder that lit up the KCOM Stadium in 2012 was gone, but this is now the midfielder's best run of form for the club. He was effortlessly cool on the ball and the spine of a disciplined side.
MF Alfred N'Diaye, 7 -- A City debut could hardly have gone better for the on-loan Villarreal man. He profited from Simon Mignolet's sloppy mistake to open the scoring and then went about breaking up Liverpool's play.
MF Sam Clucas, 8 -- He was back in the role where he played most of last season, and with his place under threat by new arrivals, he gave a stirring display. His huge work-rate helped Robertson and harried Liverpool into mistakes.
MF Evandro, 7 -- If City fans feared they'd signed a luxury player, the Brazilian has been quick to dispel that. Often dropped into a five-man midfield without the ball, he ran until he had nothing left when subbed.
FW Abel Hernandez, 6 -- He missed a gilt-edged chance when put through on goal, much like his opportunity to be a hero at Manchester United three days earlier. He needs more to keep Niasse out of the side going forward.
MF Josh Tymon, 6 -- Silva clearly likes the 17-year-old, and he added some defensive strength to the left flank.
FW Oumar Niasse, 7 -- Perhaps inevitably, the man derided on Merseyside popped up with the all-important second to kill off Liverpool.
MF David Meyler, n/a -- He got one over his best friend, Jordan Henderson, with a late cameo in midfield.