Liverpool passed time between Champions League semi-final assignments with a 0-0 draw against Stoke City that nudged their opponents closer to relegation from the Premier League.
Mohamed Salah spurned a glorious early chance to net his 44th goal of the season and Danny Ings saw a goal ruled out for offside before half-time.
Nevertheless, for all Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match insistence upon the importance of their weekend engagement, it was a fitful showing from Liverpool, who will look to press home a 5-2 advantage over Roma in the Italian capital on Wednesday.
Stoke boss Paul Lambert continued his proud record of having never lost at Anfield in six visits and the well-drilled away team never looked likely to endure the sort of ordeal on the road that has seen them concede seven at Manchester City and five apiece to Tottenham and Chelsea this season.
Nevertheless, anything over than victories over fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and Swansea is unlikely to save Stoke, who almost found an 88th-minute winner heavily against the run of play through captain Ryan Shawcross. At this stage, even that might not be enough.