Had Dundee United righted the defensive wrongs of last week and earned a valuable away point? Or had they missed the opportunity to exploit Celtic's failure to win and thereby move to the top of the SPL? And what of St Johnstone? Was their second point of the term something to cherish? Or will they rue their failure to score the goal that would have earned a first win of the campaign?
Ultimately, neither camp was unduly disappointed, even if the manner in which the draw was earned left a little to be desired. Steve Lomas was cheered by the resilience and application of the Perth side, even if they remain in the lower reaches of the division, and optimistically insisted their persistence will eventually be rewarded with a spurt of goals.
Meanwhile, United manager Peter Houston was relieved he was still able to bemoan the failure of Johnny Russell to add to his three league goals and then look forward to the return of Gary Mackay-Steven after knee surgery earlier in the week, the club having rejected a Huddersfield Town bid, thought to be around £1.25 million, for the duo on Friday.
"You see how much we miss Gary and the little spark but, on the plus side, at least we've still got him and Johnny after that derisory offer," Houston said. "I just wonder why Huddersfield think that is enough after they get £8m for Jordan Rhodes? It's a joke and it just shows what they think of us up here."
If the Championship club's final scouting mission was at Rugby Park last weekend, they would be entitled to take a disparaging view of United, such was the fecklessness of their defending in the 3-0 defeat to Kilmarnock.
But the absence of Mackay-Steven in this game was, in a way, beneficial as it enabled Houston to deploy the more disciplined Stuart Armstrong on the left of midfield.
Certainly, the protection helped settle Barry Douglas, who endured a humiliating afternoon in Ayrshire, even if winger Peter Pawlett offered a rigorous examination of the full-back's competence.
Indeed, one particular dart and shot necessitated the acrobatic intervention of Radoslaw Cierzniak, while another moment of trickery gave Rowan Vine a glimpse of goal. To disregard Armstrong as a mere obstacle to St Johnstone overlooks his other talents, though.
A rangy, deceptively quick runner with enviable balance and football intelligence, the Scotland under-21 international was the one player in a regimented United line-up willing to break his constraints and disturb the home defence during an attritional contest, forcing a sharp save from Alan Mannus after one swashbuckling run and heading narrowly wide from a deep Willo Flood cross.
Flood himself flashed a shot narrowly wide of the St Johnstone goal, but United were struggling to impose themselves on the game. Realising as much, Houston withdrew the peculiarly ineffective Jon Daly and holding midfielder Richie Ryan in favour of the attacking duo of Michael Gardyne and Ryan Dow. But, if anything, the subsequent lack of a reference point in attack caused a further degradation of United's threat.
That they persisted in trying to locate the diminutive Gardyne and Russell with crosses, rather than adapt their approach, didn't help. "We were too slow and deliberate in the final third and never got near our best," Houston said, but added that after last week's disappointment: "A point here is not a disaster."
The loss of Daly's height began to become an issue defensively, too, as United were pressured by their muscular hosts. In one instance, St Johnstone won consecutive headers in the visitors' area before Gregory Tade spun and lashed high over the crossbar.
Perhaps the best chance, though, fell to substitute Nigel Hasselbaink. The little Dutchman, who spent time on trial at Tannadice a couple of summers ago, has made a habit of causing United problems with his unpredictable style, but there was a depressing familiarity about the manner in which he spurned the chance, duping Sean Dillon and shooting against the legs of Cierzniak after Rowan Vine's pass cleaved open the visitors' back four.
"It would have been no more than we deserved," said Lomas, who is thought to be in talks to sign midfielder Mark Kerr and has signed striker Steven MacLean until January. "We cut out the mistakes and worked so hard and the only thing missing was the finishing."
So was bad miss or a good save? It's all about perspective.
Point of no returns
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