According to Liverpool fans, there was only one player responsible for their collapse against Southampton on Sunday - Martin Skrtel.
The Reds had led 2-0 on the South Coast at half-time when the Slovakian defender was brought on to replace Dejan Lovren.
Jurgen Klopp revealed he had made the change because he feared that Lovren, who had already been booked, was close to getting sent-off.
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The German boss will be wishing he hadn’t bothered.
A calamitous performance from Skrtel followed in the second 45 minutes as Saints turned the match around to win 3-2.
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It took just four minutes for Skrtel to make an impact. The defender needlessly hauled down Graziano Pelle in the box with one of his trademark shirt pulls giving the home side the perfect opportunity to get back into the match.
But Skrtel appeared to be saved from any criticism when Simon Mignolet made a brilliant save from Mane’s spot-kick.
It wasn’t long before Southampton were back in the game though when Skrtel stepped out of the back four in an attempt to intercept a pass, allowing space for Mane to exploit before firing past Mignolet.
The momentum had swung and Pelle scored a brilliant equaliser with just seven minutes remaining.
There was still time for Skrtel to be left embarrassed when he failed to connect with a header after Mignolet’s poor clearance, allowing Mane to race through and hand Ronald Koeman’s side the three points.
Liverpool fans identified Skrtel’s performance at the reason for the crushing defeat and, after the match, a stat emerged to suggest the difference to the team when the defender is playing.
BBC 5 live Sport claim that Liverpool conceded as many goals in 45 minutes against Southampton with Skrtel in the team as they had done in the previous 795 minutes without him.
Skrtel had missed 13 weeks with a hamstring injury and Liverpool fans must hope that he had been sidelined for slightly longer.
The match on Sunday was Skrtel’s first Premier League appearance since December’s shambolic 3-0 defeat to Watford. He had played in an Under-21 match against West Ham in midweek and was shown a red card during the 90 minutes.
Given his last three performances in Liveperool red, it's hardly surprising fans have lost patience with the defender that signed at Anfield in January 2008 from Zenit Saint Petersburg.
The loss could prove critical for Liverpool’s outside top four chances. It means Jurgen Klopp’s side remain seven points behind Manchester City in fourth but with a match in hand.
Liverpool fans: Was Martin Skrtel at fault for your side's 3-2 defeat to Southampton? Let us know in the comments box below!
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