Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2
Rafa Benitez's men appeared to be heading for only their second win since September when Martin Skrtel opened his Liverpool account with a thumping header on 50 minutes.
City hit back and equalised through Togo forward Emmanuel Adebayor before Stephen Ireland gave the visitors the lead with a well-worked 76th-minute goal.
But 60 seconds later, Benayoun slid in to meet Steven Gerrard's cross-cum-shot from close range as both sides settled for a point.
Skrtel threatened to break his Liverpool duck as early as the sixth minute when he lost his marker and met Gerrard's right wing free-kick with a powerful header, only for City keeper Shay Given to pull off a fine save.
The remainder of the first half was cagey, with chances few and far between. Gerrard twice had a sight of goal but both times, firstly Nigel de Jong and then captain Kolo Toure, blocked his efforts.
But Slovakia international Skrtel finally grabbed his first goal in Liverpool colours, heading home after he had lost Adebayor in the City box all too easily.
City are a tough nut to crack on their travels however, and bounced back on 69 minutes, Adebayor atoning for his earlier lapse by soaring above Skrtel to nod home Craig Bellamy's corner.
Mark Hughes' side grew in belief and a razor-sharp turn by Shaun Wright-Phillips in the box allowed the winger enough time to pick out Ireland, who turned the ball home from ten yards.
But, just a minute later, Liverpool were level when Gerrard's effort took a deflection to leave Given stranded so that Benayoun had the simplest of chances to restore parity.
Both teams pressed for the winner in the closing stages but Wright-Phillips and Carlos Tevez both shot straight at Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina while Sotirios Kyrgiakos failed to connect with a back-post header at the death.