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.
Skrtel playing U21 ???????????????? https://t.co/DtUyEjuCAr
— Planx (@Planx25) March 16, 2016
— 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 (@_TheWale) 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.
— SYIIHET ????????and (@EMH_9514) March 16, 2016
Should sell Skrtel, its time now
— Moeed Ali Khan (@khanmoeed) 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.
— If Emre Can, Can (@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.