Martin Skrtel has called on the Anfield faithful to provide another classic Liverpool European night on Thursday, as the Reds attempt to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the second leg of the Europa League clash with Zenit.
The Reds looked comfortable for 70 minutes in Russia before disaster struck, and Skrtel is hopeful that with the fans backing they can still make it through to the next round.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Skrtel said: “The atmosphere at Anfield in European games is always special and the game on Thursday will be even more because we lost the first game and the crowd feel we need their help. I’m pretty sure they will help us.”
Despite Luis Suarez missing a host of chances Liverpool had looked the better side for most of the first leg. Disaster struck for them though as goals from Hulk and Sergey Semak made the score 2-0 to the home side in the space of three minutes.
Liverpool FC is sponsored by several betting companies, and they’re all backing the Reds to lose the tie. Much as the club’s corporate partners may have lost faith though the players haven’t, and Skrtel was quick to point out reasons to be optimistic.
“As we lost there 2-0, the same can happen to them at Anfield. We still have a shot and we will do everything possible and try our best to get a result and get us to the next round.
“We controlled the game and created four or five chances. Unfortunately we couldn’t take them and score a goal. That gives us belief for the next game – we created chances away so we’ll definitely create them at home. We just need to take them.”
Skrtel was signed from Zenit in 2008 by former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, and Thursday’s game was the first time the Slovak had lined up against his old club since leaving them. He will no doubt be hoping that if he features in the Anfield clash he endures better luck against his former employers.