The visitors then levelled things up just after the restart, before Felix Nmecha found the net two minutes from time to secure a hugely important three points at the Academy Stadium.
The win also means City extend their unbeaten Premier League 2 run to 14 games.
In a tight opening 15 minutes the first chance of the evening fell to Liverpool, and the visitors took full advantage of it by opening the scoring.
A neat through ball between the City backline found Hardy, who squeezed his effort from 10-yards underneath the on-running Cieran Slicker and into the bottom corner.
Maresca's side looked to react instantly as Liam Delap carried the ball in from the left-hand side before hitting a fierce effort from 20-yards, forcing a good save out of Jakub Ojrzynski.
A minute later the City frontman had another opportunity to level things up after finding his way past Morgan Boyes.
Despite Delap's missed chances City did get themselves level just minutes later, after Robertson finished off a stunning passage of play.
After a nice team move found Palmer in the Liverpool area, the Wythenshawe winger expertly back heeled the ball into the path of Robertson who slotted his effort into the bottom corner from six yards out.
After proving pivotal in City's first goal Palmer was once again the key to unlock Liverpool's defence for our second, only this time it was his name on the scoresheet.
The City number seven danced his way down the right and passed to Liverpool men, before slotting a cool effort into the near post to cap off a stunning solo goal.
Despite City's impressive end to the first half, the visitors got themselves back into it at the beginning of the second, as Hardy broke free to score his and his side's second of the evening.
Maresca's men were now on the hunt to regain their lead and once again it was that man Palmer who was at the forefront of the City attack, as we came close on the hour mark.
15 minutes later the Liverpool keeper once again denied Palmer, as a deflected ball into the middle found the 18-year-old at the near post, but his side footed volley was superbly saved from close range.
City's efforts were finally rewarded two minutes from time as the ball fell to substitute Nmecha, who made no mistake from close range to clinch victory late on.
HOW WE LINED UP
Liam Delap led the line up front.
WHAT IT MEANS
City extend our lead at the top of the Premier League 2 table to eight points, after second placed Blackburn Rovers fell to defeat against Everton.
Maresca's side now know that two wins from our final four games would see us finish top of the table.
Our EDS return to action on Friday 16 April at 19:00 (UK) as we host local rivals, Manchester United at the Academy Stadium.