In the end, however, the teams finished just as they started, playing to a 0-0 draw to split the points.
The blessed relief of a last-gasp penalty miss saw Liverpool play out a scoreless draw against the visiting Manchester City at Anfield this evening and finish out the last in a punishing run of fixtures that saw them play seven games in 22 days. They have been on a great run. It's still early in the season, but City will likely feel this was dropped points against a key Premier League rival. "It was nice to keep hold of it", said Gomez of the clean sheet.
The City boss has since apologised to the Brazilian striker after telling winger Riyad Mahrez to take the 86th minute spot-kick, which he then fired over the bar. But sometimes it is simply a failure - or reluctance - to acknowledge the part of the game that is crucial for any team with aspirations of winning major honours.
Pep Guardiola confirmed as much afterwards when one of football's aesthetes could hardly deny that he had turned pragmatist for the day; willing to sacrifice... "It happens, so we had to move on", the England defender said.
"We had a chance at 0-0 for Danny Ings, if that goes in we get a different frame of mind", he said. It could've been a goal and the game could've been over. "Sometimes you have to be courageous and we weren't able to do that".
"As it is it's great progress from last season, we competed against them, they're a top team. Against a very good team we managed to do that".
Van Dijk's error in that incident should not mask the positives of his performance, however, or the difference he has made to Liverpool since arriving from Southampton for £75 million as the world's most expensive defender in January.
Reflecting on the stalemate, Robertson added: "We started well".
"I said that to the referee afterwards as well". And in no game we played so far, the game was level like it was today.