Liverpool's wretched Champions League campaign came to a disappointing conclusion as they failed to beat Basel at Anfield and saw their hopes of reaching the knockout phase evaporate.
Steven Gerrard - who dragged Liverpool through to victory in a similar situation against OIympiakos at Anfield a decade ago - threatened to do so again when his brilliant late free-kick equalised Fabian Frei's first-half goal for the Swiss.
Up until Gerrard's equaliser, this was not an occasion in the famous Anfield tradition of European nights, The Kop silenced for long periods except when voicing frustration at a side that has lost its way since coming so close to winning the Premier League last season.
Liverpool may claim injustice after substitute Lazar Markovic was sent off after coming on and delivering a promising cameo.
But once he senselessly raised his arm in the direction of the pursuing Behrang Safari, he was running the risk of a red card.
It is another setback in a disappointing season for manager Brendan Rodgers, who must now galvanise players who looked devastated at the final whistle for a Europa League campaign.
Liverpool have lost the goals of talisman Luis Suarez to Barcelona as well as Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli to injury, but that does not fully explain how they have become so pedestrian and lacking in spark.
The Champions League was meant to be a return to their rightful status for Liverpool.
But one win in six group games, and that only a fortunate victory earned by Gerrard's late penalty against Ludogorets, tells the tale of a team that has simply not been up to the demands of Europe's elite tournament.
Liverpool now have a pivotal week where they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and then visit Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup quarter-final.
Basel's fans were in noisy and buoyant mood despite a Merseyside downpour before kick-off - and that optimism was reflected in their team during an opening half that reduced Anfield to frustrated silence at its conclusion.