The match was a highly frustrating one for all concerned with Liverpool, with the Reds spurning the chance to hold on to top spot in the Premier League as they struggled to find a way past an injury-hit United, who largely came to Anfield to defend.
The Reds enjoyed over 70% possession and carved out a massive 34 shots – almost twice as many as in last season's 7-0 win – but couldn't find the net once, with most of the opportunities awkward, rushed and from difficult angles.
Van Dijk himself saw a headed effort saved by United goalkeeper Andre Onana, who was called into action to make eight stops throughout.
According to talkSPORT's Alex Crook, there was an exchange between the two players in the tunnel after the match, with the Liverpool captain reportedly telling the United keeper, "because of you we only played a half hour game."
— Alex Crook ⚽️🎙 (@alex_crook) December 17, 2023
The comment is a reference to Onana's perceived time-wasting tactics, something a frustrated Van Dijk also brought up during his post-match media duties.
"If you see how we played the game, we had most of the ball and created some opportunities. There was only one team trying to win the game," he told Sky Sports.
"Unfortunately, it didn't happen. That is why it is frustrating because we want to win every game. Especially when you play against a team like them.
"In the end, they are buzzing with a point, and we are disappointed with a point."
Van Dijk's comments led to a debate in the Sky studio afterwards, with Roy Keane taking offence at the jibe against his old side.
By contrast to Liverpool's 34 shots on the day, United had just six, while Erik ten Hag's side were defended deep and attempted to contain Liverpool.