LIVERPOOL centre-half Martin Skrtel will serve a three-match ban after yesterday being found guilty of stamping on Manchester United keeper David de Gea.
An independent Football Association disciplinary panel upheld the charge of violent conduct, despite the 30-year-old Slovakia defender protesting his innocence and insisting he did not deliberately stand on De Gea.
Skrtel will now miss the crucial Premier League fixture against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium a week on Saturday as well as next month’s clash against Newcastle and the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn. The first showdown could have a significant bearing on Liverpool’s Champions League aspirations as the Reds currently lie five points adrift of the top four.
Liverpool are also without Steven Gerrard for their next three matches after the Anfield skipper was shown a straight red card just 38 seconds after taking the field as a half-time substitute against United. Skrtel is set to escape any further disciplinary action after uploading a photograph of three clowns to his Instagram account without explanation following the decision to reject his appeal.