Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel will challenge his charge of violent conduct handed down by the FA.
Skrtel was notified of the charge yesterday for what appeared to be a potential stamp on the ankle of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in the final seconds of United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
The two got into a war of words as the referee blew the final whistle and De Gea limped off the field. It was clear that Skrtel stepped on De Gea’s leg, but the defender will likely argue that it was unintentional, as his momentum chasing the long ball carried him over top of De Gea who collected the pass.
The FA is not allowed to rule on any event that the referees see and include in their report, but since referee Martin Atkinson didn’t see the incident, a panel of three former officials ruled unanimously that Skrtel deserved a red card for violent conduct, an offense which carries a three-match ban.
Should he be found guilty, Skrtel would miss a pair of Premier League games against Arsenal and Newcastle, plus an FA Cup quarterfinal replay at Blackburn. The 30-year-old defender has become an integral part of the new three-CB system that Brendan Rodgers has found untold success with since the turn of the new year.
Steven Gerrard was sent off earlier in the match for stomping on Ander Herrera’s leg just 48 seconds after coming on as a second half substitute.