Liverpool’s brilliant form over the past couple of weeks came to a screeching halt due to a proud performance from Blackburn Rovers at Anfield on Sunday. The FA Cup Quarter-finals tie will now be decided at Ewood Park.
Unlike recent match-ups, Liverpool’s unconvincing performance made for a frustrating afternoon for many. However, Blackburn’s return to Anfield proved a memorable trip, with more than 5,000 fans filling the Anfield Road end to cheer their team on to replay.
With few goal-mouth action, the moment of the match came when Slovakian center-back Martin Skrtel was knocked unconscious just two minutes into the game and had to be substituted for Ivorian center-back Kolo Toure. Skrtel was rushed to the hospital. However, the Liverpool number 37 revealed that all is well.
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was also quick to announce that Skrtel should be available for their next game.
“He is fine but he will go to the local hospital to make sure. If he had his choice, he wouldn’t but we have to follow procedure. He was fine, up walking and talking after the game but as a precaution we need to make sure he is okay.”
Despite the disappointing draw, Rodgers refused to blame his Liverpool players and is grateful to still be in the competition.
“We didn’t quite win it but we are still in there. I am not overly disappointed. Of course we wanted to get through. It is a big credit to my players, on the back of a tough week of games. The objective was to get four points from six over the course of Man City and Burnley after travelling to Besiktas and we got six.”
The Liverpool players may have escaped criticisms from their manager, but Liverpool legend and football pundit Mark Lawrenson launched a scathing attack on Mario Balotelli. The Italian forward has been criticized since his return to the Premier League.
The former Liverpool center-back said, “Forget about Mario Balotelli. He is an absolute waste of time. He shouldn’t be anywhere near this team. I can see why Brendan Rodgers threw him on today as he might just create something, but 99 times out of 100 he will let you down.”
The FA Cup Quarter-Finals will continue on Monday when Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United with the winners knowing that they, along with Liverpool, will be the team to beat.
[Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images]