The statistics weighed heavily in Liverpool’s favour against Man United, but they failed to break the stalemate and it asked questions of any title hopes this season.
Anticipation, nerves and all the possibilities were in the air on a record day for Anfield, though it fizzled out quite quickly with both sides devoid of quality.
Waiting for any moment of quality was excruciating as the Reds proved out of sync and without the necessary level of accuracy.
Shots on goal didn’t prove a problem – there was 34 of them – but few tested Andre Onana, with Liverpool having a preference for long-range strikes.
Frustration was only one word for it as the chance to remain at the top of the table went begging, highlighting the areas Liverpool still need to improve.
Here is how fans reacted to the stalemate after letting a big opportunity pass them by.
For better or worse, title credentials were debated…
This team isn't there yet. Still short in a few key positions.
— Green Scouser (@Green_Scouser) December 17, 2023
Almost the entire midfield out of meaningful form.
Systemic changes to accommodate Trent may have contributed to that trend.
Darwin is becoming a problem, whether we care to admit it or not.
League position is really about how great the defence has been despite the above.
— ML (@FootyML) December 17, 2023
If you can't beat that Man Utd side at home you're going to struggle to win the league. They're a truly rotten football team. pic.twitter.com/CQ97a4oiMa
— David Phillips (@lovefutebol) December 17, 2023
Liverpool have massively ridden their luck in recent weeks in terms of creating very few real chances but still scoring enough to win. That came to an end today and it's cost them what was a massive opportunity to put their foot down with Man City stumbling and Arsenal to come.
— David Lynch (@dmlynchlfc) December 17, 2023
Not one part of me expected a win there today. Played out exactly as I feared. Diabolical game.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) December 17, 2023
#LFC just had the most shots on goal of any game this season, with 34.
But they've only hit the target with a lower percentage (23.5%) in six games this season. 19th worst.
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) December 17, 2023
United well organised but this draw all down to Liverpool's poor display. Didn't create enough or put too much pressure; too many bad passes. Significantly another injury that potentially eats away at the squad in a very busy period.
— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) December 17, 2023
Poor performance once again. The difference today was Liverpool failed to get over the line. We need to find some form quickly. No coincidence our level has dropped alongside Szboszlai’s.
— Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) December 17, 2023
Abysmal performance by Liverpool. And we can't say dropped points haven't been coming.
The arrogance from some fans all week about this fixture always felt so, so needless.
Massive improvements needed for Arsenal, or they will be beaten comfortably.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) December 17, 2023
I get that the huge turnover of midfielders in the summer is partly responsible for this team looking disjointed and injuries are limiting us, but Klopp changing things up every week isn't helping. We're almost too fluid now.
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) December 17, 2023
“When a team sits back like that, we run out of ideas quickly. If there is bit a magic from one of our players to bail us out, then it’s crickets. But this is what a team in transition looks like. top 4 is still the aim. These type of performances will happen again and again.”
– Red_Arrows! in TIA comments
Nobody wants to hear about positives right now but LFC are still in a good position and we knew there'd be ups and downs in the title race. The bigger concern is the performance levels in recent matches – maybe a setback like this was coming eventually.
— David Comerford (@Dave_Comerford) December 17, 2023
This performance had little going for it, but Liverpool are still in a strong position and we’ll know more about this side next week, with Arsenal the next league visitors to Anfield.
There is plenty to play for this week and all the Reds can do now is dust themselves off and make sure they find some more consistent form – and accuracy! – in the days and weeks to come.