Due to the suspension and unavailability of regular first-team defender Martin Skrtel, experienced campaigner Kolo Toure was brought into the starting line-up against Arsenal on Saturday.
Liverpool were going into the match with a real need of three points in order to keep their slim hope of top four qualifications alive. Another victory for Manchester United and a defeat for Liverpool will extend the gap further with only seven matches remaining. It proved to be the case after Arsenal ran riot at the Emirates stadium on Saturday. A 4-1 victory over the Reds has almost ended any hope of Champions League qualification for Liverpool.
After the match, Touré was not happy with the way the match went. Liverpool were second best in all areas of the pitch and they were particularly unhappy at the way Liverpool scored three of their goals in the last eight minutes of first-half. The only consolation for Liverpool came through a penalty scored by Jordan Henderson after Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box. It was always going to be difficult for Brendan Rodgers and his men, as they came into the match without two of their top players – Steven Gerrard and Skrtel – due to suspension. It is quite possible that Liverpool will now start focusing on the FA Cup.
“It was difficult to play against an Arsenal team like that, when everything was for them and they scored three easy goals. Although we have lost these last two games, we have to react. I have to react and be better than I was. I am not happy with what I did.We have great players and a fantastic squad, and so we have the quality to do it. Our next game is going to be really important, we will fight,” said the former Arsenal defender.