Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League run was extended into a second year as a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United restored their 13-point lead at the top of the table.
The Reds' last league defeat came at Manchester City 365 days ago and United, for all their honest endeavour, never looked like becoming the first team to win a league match at Anfield since April 2017.
The real battle Jurgen Klopp's side faced appeared to be with fatigue as a bright start given to them by Mohamed Salah tailed off and only when Sadio Mane struck midway through the second half was a 19th win in 20 matches this season secured.
A groin injury to Naby Keita in the warm-up forced Liverpool into a late change with James Milner promoted to the starting line-up, reducing Klopp's options further for Monday's (NZ time) home FA Cup Merseyside derby.
Most of the Reds' starting XI will be now hoping to have a welcome nine days without a match but such is the rapidly reducing nature of the squad - now missing eight players - that weary legs may be pressed into action again.
Tiredness was a factor from the latter stages of the first half onwards as the hosts seemed to be trying to manage their domination of possession having taken an early lead.
Klopp's half-time instructions to his flagging troops would surely have been to get the game killed off as soon as possible.
With the game in the bag Klopp even had the luxury of handing 16-year-old Harvey Elliott, set to play in the FA Cup at the weekend, his Premier League debut for the club - although it came so late he did not touch the ball.
Liverpool charge forward into 2020 in the same manner they approached 2019 having now taken 85 points from a possible 87, with 28 wins and a draw.