Brendan Rodgers wasted no time in delivering unshakeable backing to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard after his team had suffered a 2-0 defeat by Chelsea on Sunday.

The No.8 was involved in a cruel, but crucial, incident with a matter of seconds remaining in the first half, slipping as he attempted to control a pass inside Reds territory.

Demba Ba capitalised on the fortuitous turn of events to drive forward in space, before showing total composure to plant a cool finish around the reach of Simon Mignolet.

Rodgers' charges returned for the second period determined to turn the tie around, but attack after attack was stemmed by the visitors, who added a stoppage-time decider through Willian.

At the centre of Liverpool's charge was Gerrard, who unleashed numerous strikes as he searched for an equaliser - and his manager commended the skipper for his efforts.

"Steven is a boy who has picked up this club so many times," Rodgers said. "And it was just really unfortunate because he slipped at a crucial moment and it was right on half-time.

"He was doing everything he possibly could today and we hoped there would be one or two who would step up to the plate instead of him, but we couldn't quite do that today.

"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.


"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.

"But he and our other attacking threats just couldn't quite make the breakthrough. Give credit to Chelsea for that; they sat in really deep."