The Belgians, second in the FIFA rankings and semifinalists at the last World Cup, looked flat and out of form as they were beaten 2-1 in Kuwait City by a Mohamed Salah-inspired Egypt.
Invariably individual brilliance alone won't take a player to the mega event as a solid team is essential to get a chance to feature in the mega event.
The champions lost their unbeaten start to the Premier League season in a heated thriller that saw home coach Juergen Klopp red-carded.
Incredibly, Mo Salah was not one of the scorers for the title favourites.
Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah scored for Liverpool at Craven Cottage.
After a 5-0 win at Old Trafford in October, this was another humiliation of United by Juergen Klopp's team, who were barely threatened by their lifeless opponents.
Senegal edged Egypt 3-1 on penalties in the second leg of the playoffs.
Salah's Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane led Senegal to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday.
Mane had missed an early penalty in the game but stepped up to make history for the west African nation, and banish the memories of their 2019 failure when they lost the final to Algeria.
Liverpool romped to a stunning 5-0 victory at Old Trafford that leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future in serious doubt.