Brendan Rodgers refused to blame Steven Gerrard for Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat against Chelsea on Sunday.
Gerrard slipped while receiving a routine pass just before halftime, which allowed Demba Ba to recover the ball and score what proved to be the game-winning goal.
In his postgame press conference, Rodgers staunchly defended the Liverpool captain, saying all players make mistakes at some point in their careers.
“Steven is a boy who has picked up this club so many times,” Rodgers said, according to LiverpoolFC.com “And it was just really unfortunate because he slipped at a crucial moment and it was right on half-time.
“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.
Gerrard took seven shots in the game — three of which Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer thwarted in the second half — as he led Liverpool’s ultimately fruitless search for the game-tying goal. Rodgers credited the 33-year-old midfielder for putting the mistake behind him.
“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,” Rodgers said. “But he and our other attacking threats just couldn’t quite make the breakthrough.”
Despite Sunday’s loss, Liverpool leads the Premier League with two games remaining. When the Reds return to action next weekend at Crystal Palace, Gerrard will lead them out of the tunnel — as he has done since 2003.