Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard not to blame for loss
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backs "mentally strong" Steven Gerrard to bounce back from his mistake against Chelsea
Brendan Rodgers refused to blame Steven Gerrard after the Liverpool captain’s mistake spurred Chelsea to a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
The Premier League leaders struggled to breakdown Jose Mourinho’s side in the first half before Gerrard’s slip allowed Demba Ba to steal possession and finish past Simon Mignolet on the stroke of half-time.
The Reds pressed for a leveller after the interval as Joe Allen and Luis Suarez tested second-choice Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, whilst Gerrard had a brace of long-range attempts saved.
He probably got frustrated but I thought he showed his courage today because after that he still kept getting on the football
With Liverpool throwing bodies forward in a desperate attempt to rescue a point, Chelsea forward Fernando Torres pounced on a loose ball and teed up Willian to score a second in injury time.
“Steven is a boy who has picked up this club so many times,” Rodgers said.
“And it was just really unfortunate because he slipped at a crucial moment and it was right on half-time.
“He was doing everything he possibly could today and we hoped there would be one or two who would step up to the plate instead of him, but we couldn’t quite do that today.
“There’s certainly no blame because we are in the position we are in now because of him; he’s been instrumental for us this season.
“It’s just unfortunate that he’s slipped over. It could have happened to anyone. This is a guy that is so strong mentally.
“He probably got frustrated but I thought he showed his courage today because after that he still kept getting on the football, he still tried to pass; at times, he broke through and broke the line to get in.
“But he and our other attacking threats just couldn’t quite make the breakthrough. Give credit to Chelsea for that; they sat in really deep.”
Liverpool are two points clear of Chelsea as Gerrard bids to win his first-ever Premier League title.