Former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel gave Manchester United a reminder of his enduring quality as he helped inspire Istanbul Basaksehir to victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Skrtel, 35, is a renowned and respected figure amongst the Liverpool fan base having clocked up 320 appearances during an eight-year spell at Anfield. Last summer, he swapped Fenerbahce for Basaksehir
The Slovakian international put in a typically commanding performance at the back to showcase what he is all about.
He was imperious from start-to-finish for his new club side, making tackles, throwing himself in front of blocks and persistently thwarting away any danger imposed by United.
In total, Skrtel made four tackles, three interceptions and five clearences for his team. He also won three of his defensive aerial duels.
Basaksehir’s first victory in Group H means that three points is currently all that separates the top from bottom with RB Leipzig and PSG also in action last night.
It wasn’t the first time since he left Liverpool that Skrtel got one over his former enemy, during his four-year spell with Besiktas, the 104-time international enjoyed a 4-1 victory over United in the Europa League back in October 2016.
After the match, Skrtel celebrated an important win over Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team with a post on social media.
Some woeful defending from United’s part gifted Basaksehir an early lead, through another former Premier League veteran, Demba Ba. Solkjaer’s team remarkably left no-one back from a corner and it saw a clearance fall to the former Chelsea striker on the half-way line, who ran the pitch to convert emphatically.
It was 2-0 just five minutes before half-time as Ba’s dummy allowed Basaksehir skipper Edin Visca to thunder home a first-time effort. Anthony Martial headed home for United before the end of the first half, but that was as good as it got for them. Basaksehir held on for a famous victory.
It was particularly pleasing to see Skrtel get the better of Anthony Martial, who famously ran the Slovakian defender inside out on his Manchester United debut when playing against Liverpool in 2015.
Skrtel certainly wasn’t going to allow history to repeat itself and put in a performance of the highest order to remind us all of his quality.
Liverpool fans were left raving about his performance. Here is a look at some of the reaction on Twitter…
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