Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the manner of their performances against both Manchester clubs is an indicator of the progress being made at Anfield.
Sunday's 1-1 draw against 10-man Manchester City may have been the fourth successive time they have been held at home but that does not really tell the full story. Having gone behind to Vincent Kompany's 31st-minute goal they equalised within two minutes when Charlie Adam's shot was turned past Joe Hart by Joleon Lescott.
From there, most of the attacking was done by the team in red and had it not been for England goalkeeper Joe Hart, Liverpool would have inflicted City's first Barclays Premier League defeat of the season. It was a similar story just over a month ago when Manchester United were the visitors and Dalglish can see the positives, saying: "We have played both Manchester clubs here now and we have walked away a little bit disappointed we have only take one point off each."
He added: "Maybe that is the mark of the improvements we have made here. We are delighted with the way we played and the quality of the performance and with a bit more luck we could have had three points. We will play a lot worse than that and get three points."
Dalglish was full of praise for his players who, certainly for the majority of the second half, made City look ordinary - something very few English teams have done this season.
He said: "They had fantastic attitude, commitment, determination and pride in playing for the club and we can't ask for much more than that. If you are playing a team the quality of Manchester City you can't afford to have anyone playing below standard.
"I don't think any one of our players could be - or should be - disappointed with their performance. If we can continue doing what we are doing then they will get more points than they lose."
Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini remained happy with his team's position, with the result doing enough to restore the five-point advantage at the top City began the weekend.
The Italian felt his players had survived a stern test of their credentials, saying: "Five points after this weekend, I think that is good. We wanted to win this game but it is not always possible to win. I am happy also because in the last 10 minutes we had a big problem with 10 men.
And On Mario Balotelli's sending off for two bookable offences, which came just 18 minutes after he had been brought on as a substitute: Mancini added: "It is not correct, the [second] yellow card. I do not agree with this yellow card. I think every time Mario does something many players provoke him."