Liverpool final whistle talking point after the dreadful 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Anyone wanting a neat summary of Liverpool’s tortuous season need only watch what happened in the 29th minute here.
Selhurst Park waited with bated breath when, after persistence from Diogo Jota had earned the visitors a free-kick on the edge of the area, Mohamed Salah rolled the ball into the path of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The right-back then arrowed a shot that looked destined to zip beyond Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita into the top corner – until it struck Jordan Henderson on the head and was diverted away from goal.
A moment of promise sabotaged by a self-inflicted wound, even if it was completely accidental, this was a microcosm of the struggles with which the Reds are continuing to grapple.
Indeed, you know things aren’t going to plan for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp when a trip to Crystal Palace fails to see them depart with all three points, having done so on all previous seven occasions with the German in the hotseat.
Instead, they had to be content with a hard-earned point from an utterly forgettable encounter that perhaps underlined why Saturday night football should not become a regular feature of the calendar.
This was a tough, tough watch. It was, though, never going to be pretty after the chastening defeat to Real Madrid four days earlier, particularly against a Palace side who are similarly struggling for form and confidence having not registered a win this year.
The chief bonus for Liverpool from the evening was a clean sheet, a fifth in their last seven domestic games. Even that, though, was somewhat clutching at straws given the erratic displays of Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip in the backline, bailed out more than once by Alisson Becker and the covering of calmly assured Virgil van Dijk.
And the longer the game went on, the less likely Liverpool appeared capable of conjuring up a matchwinner. Remarkably, Stefan Bajcetic is the only Reds player to score after the 50th minute in any of their last 14 league games when netting late on at Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Klopp’s side just aren’t lasting the distance these days.
Palace complained at full-time when more time wasn’t added as they forced a succession of corners during injury time. But by then surely everybody had seen enough.
A necessary part of Liverpool’s recovery post-Madrid, this was nevertheless as far removed from primetime entertainment as possible.