Sense of injustice lingers but Reds remain in a position of immense strength
James Pearce reacts to Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Leicester
It shouldn't have been difficult to stay cool on a night like this.
But as the temperature plunged, Liverpool lost their way and squandered two precious points.
Having benefited from an unexpected favour from an old friend 24 hours earlier, Jurgen Klopp's side failed to take full advantage against Leicester City. An air of frustration briefly hung over Anfield at the final whistle as the Reds stumbled on home turf for the first time since October. This was a glaring missed opportunity to move even closer to the Holy Grail.
However, the mood was swiftly lifted by the defiant chants of 'Liverpool' from the Kop. It was a timely intervention.
There is no room for negativity or self-doubt in this title race. This run-in was never going to be for the faint-hearted. There will be twists and turns - players and fans alike need to keep their nerve.
The reality is that the Reds' grip on top spot has only been strengthened over the course of this week.
Yes, they didn't cash in on Manchester City's shock defeat to Newcastle but the gap has still widened. Five points clear with 14 games to go is a position of immense strength.
The icy playing surface made life tough but Liverpool didn't help themselves as their decision making was poor after getting off to a flyer courtesy of Sadio Mane's opener.
There was a lack of spark, guile and composure as they enjoyed 72% possession but did little with it.
Harry Maguire restored parity before the break and Leicester looked the more likely winners at times in the second half. The Reds played with a hint of panic and seemed affected by the howls of anguish from the stands.
There was also a burning sense of injustice attached to the outcome as Liverpool were on the receiving end of some wretched decisions from referee Martin Atkinson.
Maguire shouldn't have still been on the pitch when he scored having earlier committed a blatant professional foul on Mane. Then Ricardo Pereira somehow got away with chopping down Naby Keita in the box when it should have been a spot-kick and a second yellow.
If Atkinson hadn't blundered this would have been a tale of triumphing in the face of adversity.
Maybe the national obsession with Liverpool getting penalties might now end. If there's a conspiracy in the Reds' favour then Atkinson certainly didn't get the memo.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and James Milner all missing and Fabinho only deemed fit enough for bench duty, Klopp was forced to deploy Jordan Henderson as a makeshift right-back.
It was far from ideal but predictably the captain delivered a tireless shift in an unfamiliar role.
Bolstered by Virgil van Dijk overcoming illness, Liverpool dominated from the off in the Anfield snow storm. They knocked it around with a swagger early on and a 30-pass move ended with them making the breakthrough inside three minutes.
Mane, Andy Robertson and Roberto Firmino were all involved before Mane coolly rolled a right-footer beyond Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner.
The Senegal international slid on his knees in celebration before being mobbed by his jubilant team-mates. In contrast Klopp stood emotionless on the touchline with his hands in his pockets.
Briefly, the Reds threatened to blow the Foxes away. Mohamed Salah's cross was expertly brought down by Firmino, who darted past Pereira and forced a sprawling finger tip save.
It was one-way traffic with Mane's header flashing wide from Shaqiri's inviting corner.
Rafa Benitez's name was belted out by the Kop in appreciation of the Newcastle victory he had masterminded 24 hours earlier.
However, the Reds' grip on proceedings soon loosened. Keeping the ball got increasingly difficult without ice skates on.
Leicester were content to sit deep, defend in numbers and then prey on the hosts' mistakes before hitting them on the counter.
It was Alisson Becker's blooper when the sides met at the King Power Stadium back in September which handed Claude Puel's men a way back into the contest. And the Brazil No 1 sent the Reds' nerves jangling once again with some of his footwork.
Alisson was lucky to get away with dallying on the ball when Jamie Vardy closed him down. It was shifted out wide to Marc Albrighton, whose header put one on a plate for James Maddison. Inexplicably, he nodded wide from six yards out.
After Anfield voiced its concern, Klopp turned to the fans behind him and gestured for them to calm down.
Liverpool's hopes of regaining control weren't helped by Atkinson. Penalty appeals were waved away after Maguire blocked off Salah inside the box.
If that was a marginal call, there was no doubting that the England defender was mightily fortunate to stay on the field moments later.
Andy Robertson's through ball would have sent Mane scurrying clear but the winger was cynically tripped by Maguire. Klopp was rightly enraged by Atkinson's decision to opt for a yellow card rather than red.
Salt was swiftly rubbed into that wound as Maguire equalised on the cusp of half-time.
Robertson gave away a cheap free-kick which the Reds failed to deal with. Ben Chilwell nodded it back into the area and Maguire stole in behind Van Dijk to slot home.
The Anfield groundstaff only cleared the snow and ice from the Kop End penalty box during the interval as the Anfield Road End was left untouched. But Liverpool didn't spend nearly enough time there as they struggled to get going after the interval.
Buoyed by the equaliser, the Foxes grew in confidence and the Reds were second best. There was another big chance for Maddison after Chilwell had skipped away from Matip but he couldn't convert.
Hearts were in mouths again when Maguire turned Maddison's free-kick dangerously back across goal. Firmino knocked it towards his own net and was relieved to see Alisson stick out a boot and hack clear.
Anfield did its best to inspire a response as supporters cranked up the volume. Liverpool rallied and were on the wrong side of more controversy just before the hour mark.
Keita, who was given the chance to impress in his favoured central role, belatedly came live. The Guinean played a slick one-two with Firmino and found himself through on goal.
Just before Keita could pull the trigger he was cynically taken out by Pereira. It was a nailed on spot-kick but bizarrely Atkinson wasn't interested.
Klopp rang the chances soon after with Adam Lallana and Fabinho replacing Keita and Shaqiri.
But the expected late onslaught failed to materialise. The Foxes continued to ask questions on the counter with Demarai Gray firing straight at Alisson when well placed.
Firmino came closest for the Reds but he was thwarted by Schmeichel. There was no way through.
It's a slip up but no real harm was done. This title charge remains on track.
Liverpool: Alisson, Wijnaldum, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Keita (Lallana 66), Mane, Firmino (Sturridge 82), Shaqiri (Fabinho 66), Salah.
Not used: Mignolet, Lovren, Origi, Camacho.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Gray (Okazaki 84), Maddison (Choudhury 75), Albrighton, Vardy (Iheanacho 90).
Not used: Ward, Simpson, Morgan, Barnes.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Goals: Mane 3, Maguire 45
Bookings: Matip, Maguire, Pereira.
Man of the match: Gini Wijnaldum. Impressed on his return to the side.
Liverpool player ratings vs Leicester - Mane and Wijnaldum shine but Keita turns in worrying performance
Ian Doyle runs the rule over Liverpool's performance in disappointing draw with Leicester City at Anfield
Alisson Becker 6
Leicester must be the Brazilian's Kryptonite. Got away with two sloppy passes first half, the second which should have resulted in a goal for Maddison. Good save from Firmino, though.
Jordan Henderson 5
Did reasonably well as a makeshift right-back in the first half, but after the break found it very tough going with Gray turning him this way and that.
Joel Matip 6
Took a booking first half when bringing down Vardy on the halfway line. Made one great challenge second half but didn't always convince on the ball.
Virgil van Dijk 6
Mopped up one or two dangerous moments early on but lost Maguire for the equaliser. A bit unconvincing on occasion, not his best night.
Andy Robertson 6
Kept busy by Albrighton while remaining an outlet down the left and his pass created the opener for Mane. However, gave away a daft free-kick that led to the equaliser.
Gini Wijnaldum 8
All-action first-half performance from the Dutchman on his return, constantly mopping up across the central midfield. Didn't stop.
Naby Keita 5
In something approaching a preferred central role, the Guinean struggled to make an impact and worried with some loose touches. Should have had a penalty when tripped by Pereira, though. Subbed.
Xherdan Shaqiri 5
Too often on the periphery, especially given he threatened at least something on the rare moments he was involved. It just didn't happen, though, before he was hooked.
Roberto Firmino 5
Tried hard to make an impact but was often lost amid the massed ranks of Leicester defenders. Forced two good saves from Schmeichel but otherwise not great. Replaced.
Sadio Mane 8
Excellent first half, epitomised by a brilliantly-taken goal and was a constant danger with his directness and pace. Remained the most likely Liverpool threat after the break.
Mohamed Salah 6
Didn't get much change out of the excellent Maguire, either in the air or on the deck. Wasn't given much service, to be fair.
Adam Lallana (for Shaqiri 67) 5
Not even a Cruyff turn to enjoy.
Fabinho (for Keita 67) 7
Added greater composure and passing range to the midfield.
Daniel Sturridge (for Firmino 82)