Sheffield United gave a brilliant account of themselves on an afternoon they could feel aggrieved not to take a share of the points against Liverpool.
Blades keeper Dean Henderson's second-half howler handed an off-colour Liverpool the lead in the second half as he allowed Georginio Wijnaldum's weak volley to slip under his body - but the Bramall Lane faithful can be delighted from what they saw from their side.
Chris Wilder's men were brave at both ends of the pitch and, with a little more clinical finishing, might well have caused the shock of the weekend as chances for John Fleck and Leon Clarke went to waste.
Man of the match
BT Sport's Steve McManaman hailed the Blades' back line after a brilliant performance against Liverpool that deserved more than an agonising defeat today.
"Jack O'Connell. It could have easily been John Egan, any of the central defenders. They've really been excellent today."
View from the dugout
Blades boss Chris Wilder cut a frustrated figure after being denied a share of the points despite a brilliant performance from his team today.
"We need to pick points up and Liverpool had an off day. Whether that was our game or our shape or just these things happen in football... They consistently win games of football, they've been outstanding for three years but I feel we've missed an opportunity to get a big result today.
"To play at the highest level in pressure situations we need to stay on top, to keep calm, keep composed. The shape of the team was good, they all stuck to the plan, we were never going to open the game up. It was never going to be a game of basketball - how can you against the likes of the front three and the players they've got?
"We were delighted with the shape. Their chances came from countering our mistakes and whether our chances came from our counter or their mistakes, I've not really looked through but we've had big moments in the game right the way through. As you all know, when Liverpool are a little bit off, which their manager might say they were today, we've got to jump all over it and we didn't today."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepted his team had been off the pace today but was delighted to emerge with three points to go eight points clear at the top of the table.
"For us, it was just important to win. We had some big chances, not every five minutes or so, but we had them. First half we had two incredibly big chances that we would usually score and the second half more - a one on one with the goalie.
"The goal was obviously unlucky for Sheffield United, that's clear. The goalie played an incredible game but in this situation, he was involved in that.
"If you win a lot of games, they are not all beauties. You have to work incredibly hard for results and the boys did this. You have to respect the opponent, they defend in a way that is really difficult. We didn't accelerate in the right moments, we didn't take enough risk in other moments becuase it was very impressive how they were always there in the moments we wanted to play right through."
View from the dressing room
Liverpool's Dutch duo Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil Van Dijk reflected on an important victory as their team toiled to three points in the lunchtime kick-off.
"We slowed the game down too much in the first half and that's why they could stop our attacks. The second half we tried to do better but even then it was not the best game we've played. But it's another win, that's the most important thing. A few years ago we were struggling to win games like this and this season it's going quite well."
Virgil Van Dijk
"It was a question of tempo. We need to give them credit as well, they play a good way with a clear plan and it's tough to come here. It was a great atmospher, they made it tough for us but in the end the three points is all that matter for us."
Peter Crouch was full of praise for Liverpool after the league leaders managed to grind out a vital victory away from home against a rugged Sheffield United in a game they could have easily dropped points.
"You can't blitz teams every week. They've been so impressive. They've dug in against Chelsea at times last week. They've dug in again today. It's a difficult place to come, Sheffield United, but they've proved they can do it and they've won ugly."
o Liverpool have won their first seven games of a league season for only the second time, after 1990-91.
o Sheffield United have lost three consecutive home games in the top-flight for the first time since October 1990.
o Liverpool have now won each of their last 16 Premier League games, their best-ever top-flight winning streak and one bettered only by Manchester City in the Premier League (18 between August and December 2017).
o Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 24 Premier League games. Only between May 1987 and March 1988 have they had a longer unbeaten run in top-flight history (31 games).
o Bramall Lane became the 56th different venue Liverpool have won at in the Premier League, four more than any other side (Man Utd & Spurs 52). The Reds have only failed to win at the City Ground and Bloomfield Road in the competition.
o Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal was his 22nd in the Premier League for Liverpool and Newcastle combined, but just the third to come away from home.
o Georginio Wijnaldum's goal on 70 minutes was Liverpool's first shot on target of the game, the longest the Reds have had to wait for a shot on target in the Premier League since December 6th 2015, courtesy of Dejan Lovren’s effort against Newcastle on 89 minutes.
o Sheffield United’s Leon Clarke (34y 230d) became the oldest Englishman to make his Premier League debut since Chris Luketti (35y 107d), also for Sheffield United against Portsmouth in January 2007.
Stats provided by Opta
Picture of the game
The relief is evident as Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates wildly with Roberto Firmino after Dean Henderson's goalkeeping howler hands Liverpool a second-half lead.
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