Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel turns from Hero to Zero – Brendan Rodgers defends defender
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers went out on a limb to protect his under fire defender Martin Skrtel, who produced a costly error that denied the Reds a memorable victory against Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
Martin Skrtel turned from a hero to zero in front of the Kop. His unfortunate pass to goalkeeper Pepe Reina was intercepted by Manchester City star striker Carlos Tevez in the 80th minute of the game. The Argentinean made no mistake in stepping past Pepe Reina to convert Liverpool’s mistake into a goal for Manchester City.
The match between Liverpool and Manchester City ended in a stalemate, but the Reds were clearly the more dominant side. Although, Manchester City kicked off to a strong start Liverpool came back and start to dominate the midfield.
In the 34th minute Martin Skrtel drew first blood when he scored through a powerful header from a corner kick by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. A defensive lapse in the 63rd minute allowed Yaya Toure to one back for Manchester City. However, just three minutes later Luis Suarez put Liverpool back in the lead through a magnificent free kick.
In the 80th minute Martin Skrtel got cornered by two Manchester City players. The Slovakian tried to play the ball back to goalkeeper Pepe Reina, but his pass was weak and inaccurate. The ball was picked up by Carlos Tevez, who then equalized for Manchester City.
Martin Skrtel, who became the Player of the Year for Liverpool last season, played superbly throughout the game. Martin Skrtel would have been the man of the match against Manchester City had he avoided the 80th minute blunder.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with the way his men performed against Manchester City. In an interview with Sky Sports after the game, the former Swansea City manager praised his men and refused to blame Martin Skrtel for his mistake.
Instead, Brendan Rodgers wanted fans and media to highlight the improvement in Liverpool’s performance. Brendan Rodgers praised Martin Skrtel for his “courage” and said he hasn’t lost faith in him.
“There's no blame to Martin Skrtel, I'd rather have players wanting to get on to the ball,” the new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “The courage he has to get on the football and try to play is what is the most important thing.”