By Coral Barry
Martin Skrtel was sent off in extra-time as Liverpool Under-21s crashed out of the Premier League Cup on Wednesday night – and Twitter thought it was hilarious.
The Slovakian defender has not featured for the senior team since the end of December and stepped up his comeback with a run-out for the youth side against West Ham in the semi-final of the competition.
Liverpool’s young guns lost 3-2 to exit the tournament despite having first team stars Skrtel and Jon Flanagan among their starters.
A furious Skrtel was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence with his team 2-1 down, and watched from the sidelines as Liverpool first equalised to make it 2-2 and then conceded a late goal to lose the match.
Twitter could not decide which was more funny, the fact that 31-year-old Skrtel was appearing at under-21s level or that he had just made his route back to the senior squad even more difficult.
— James Gray (@jamestingray) March 16, 2016
Only Skrtel 😂😂😂 https://t.co/ibBzh8SvXH
— Adam Travers (@A_Travers211) March 16, 2016
I'll be absolutely amazed if Skrtel manages to come back to the lineup now.
— Biggie (@ManilaScouser) March 16, 2016
Good to know that Martin Skrtel is as helpful to the senior team as he is to the u/21's. 😂
— Josh (@moore_ja) March 16, 2016
Martin Skrtel getting himself sent off in a U21 game on a champions league night is just funny.
— Odogwu (@TheW4_) March 16, 2016
Skrtel is usually one of the first names on the Liverpool team sheet in the Premier League.
But the defender faces a fight for his place after such a long period out, especially with the increasingly solid centre-back alliance formed by Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho.
Some Liverpool fans even reckon it could spell the end of his Anfield career after his dismissal.
Should sell Skrtel, its time now
— Moeed Ali Khan (@KalashanKlopp) March 16, 2016
Skrtel has some work to do if he's to return to XI. Lovren sakho partnership is poetry at the moment.
— Faysal King™© (@Inspired_King) March 16, 2016
Can we just bin Skrtel, had one half decent season and at that point we should have accepted the 25m City were going to pay for him.
— Emre couldn't, now we have a new Keita to success (@chizzckh) March 16, 2016
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp is wary of the experience of Louis Van Gaal ahead of the European showdown on Thursday.