A goalkeeping howler from Dean Henderson gifted Liverpool a 16th straight Premier League victory as they saw off Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane.
The Premier League leaders looked out of ideas in the face of a thorough examination from the newly-promoted Blades but were handed three points when Henderson allowed Georginio Wijnaldum's volley from the edge of the area to squirm across his goal line on 70 minutes.
Wijnaldum's shot was Liverpool's first attempt on target in the game and dealt a particularly cruel blow to Chris Wilder's valiant side, who remain 10th in the table after letting a famous point slip through their fingers.
But Liverpool escaped with their winning run intact and a seventh victory from seven this season that opened up an eight-point gap over Manchester City to further underline their title credentials.
Liverpool arrived at Bramall Lane with 15 successive league wins under their belt but Sheffield United showed complete disregard for that record, setting the tone from the first whistle with a resolute defensive display.
But it was by no means a backs-to-the-wall job from the Blades, Oliver McBurnie's fourth-minute drive into the final third and a rasping shot into the arms of Adrian handing Liverpool an early reminder of the threat the hosts posed on the counter.
As Liverpool tentatively built attacks, Sheffield United's direct approach saw them continue to create the better chances as an incisive Oliver Norwood through pass released Callum Robinson in behind, but he fired wide on 21 minutes.
Liverpool finally found their feet in attack on 34 minutes when Virgil van Dijk's brilliant long ball put Sadio Mane through on goal, but, with Henderson bearing down on the Senegal international, he uncharacteristically fired over.
Mane was then at fault for not converting Liverpool's best chance of the half moments before the interval as he slammed a shot against the base of the post after Roberto Firmino's disguised pass played him through on goal at the end of a counter-attack.
All of Liverpool's seven attempts in the first half failed to find the target and the trend of wasting and conceding chances continued after the break.
Blades captain Norwood's dipping volley drew a fingertip save from Adrian on 65 minutes before a last-gasp block from Andrew Robertson saw John Fleck denied at the end of a dangerous counter-attack.
Source: Sky Sports
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