By the law of averages, 34 shots on goal ought to have resulted in a goal, but that was not the case for Liverpool, leaving Virgil van Dijk to lament the decision making in the final third.
Thirty-four shots, eight on target and only one big chance, the Reds spent more than enough time around Man United‘s penalty box to score, but they left Anfield with nothing to show for it.
Though, for Van Dijk, one team was left “buzzing” over the result – and it wasn’t the men in red.
Long-range strikes and poor decision making with the final pass proved damning, and while the captain acknowledged it can be easy to judge – even from his position at the back – there was an acceptance that more composure was required.
“If you see how we played the game, having most of the ball and creating some opportunities, I think there was only one team trying to win the game – unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” Van Dijk assessed.
“That is why it is frustrating, we want to win every game, especially if we play against a team like them.
"There was only one team I think that were trying to win the game" ?
Virgil van Dijk is frustrated after their draw at Anfield ?? pic.twitter.com/SZtIau0P88
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 17, 2023
“I think we could make better decisions in the end, in the final third, sometimes we shot too easy or could have passed it to the overlap.
“From the outside it’s very easy to – and for me as well sometimes from the back – to judge the situation but I think the right decision sometimes was lacking.
“Hopefully, we can carry on, and I don’t doubt that either.”
Nearly half of Liverpool’s attempts on goal were from outside the penalty area, with a handful of players culpable of hopeful shots when lowering the eyes and playing short was the better option.
Jurgen Klopp accepted his side were “not calm enough” when it mattered, and the Liverpool captain knows his side can now only use the stalemate as a valuable lesson moving forward.
Van Dijk added on the result: “Obviously, it’s frustrating because you were superior in all aspects from the very beginning and they were hoping for a couple of counter-attacks to hurt us on the break.
“In the end, they are buzzing with a point and we are very disappointed with a point.
“Obviously, they are not in the best phase. Coming here, you are wary of the threat we have. I want to look at my own side more, we should have won it today.
“We have to learn from certain situations, and I know we will.”