Stoke produced a solid defensive display to hold off Liverpool and take a hard-earned point away from Anfield after a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
The stalemate made it five draws in seven Premier League matches by Tony Pulis' men, while a point will be scant consolation for Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.
It could have been worse for the hosts, who twice almost pushed the self-destruct button, but ultimately this will be viewed as another disappointment in a stop-start season.
Rodgers made eight changes from the side beaten by Udinese on Thursday, after which he called his players "lazy", and one of his targets, Stewart Downing, was not even on the bench.
Liverpool had been on the receiving end of a kicking from their manager in midweek, and got another one at Anfield at the hands of Stoke, who took their renowned physical approach across the line of legality on plenty of occasions.
But if Liverpool were keen to escape the sharp edge of their manager's tongue, they hardly helped themselv...