Skrtel banned for De Gea stamp

The Liverpool centre-half denied deliberately standing on De Gea in the final seconds of Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United at Anfield,??an incident misssed at the time by referee Martin Atkinson.

But an independent panel upheld the charge, and Skrtel will now miss Premier League games against Arsenal and Newcastle, and next month’s FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn.

The first of those matches could have a significant bearing on Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification given they go to the Emirates six points behind Arsenal and five shy of fourth-placed United.

Steven Gerrard is already missing following his red card at the weekend, and Skrtel’s absence could mean a recall for Kolo Toure against his old club.

Liverpool will not be making any comment on the panel’s decision.

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