Real Madrid vs Liverpool reaction: Brendan Rodgers insists 'I knew what I was doing' after taking risk dropping key players

Among those left out of the 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid was captain Steven Gerrard

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The Independent Football

Liverpool showed they have fight in the squad in a creditable performance against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, according to midfielder Adam Lallana, whilst Brendan Rodgers has defended his decision to rest key players.

Manager Brendan Rodgers rested several of his star names but the Reds were much more competitive than they had been at Anfield two weeks ago.

They still came away with nothing thanks to Karim Benzema's strike in a 1-0 win for Real, leaving Lallana frustrated but encouraged.

He told ITV: "We had a couple of half chances and we were always in it until the last minute.

"We knew it would be a difficult place to come but we showed we've got fight and we're still in the competition. We've got to win the last two games. We know it's going to be tough."

Rodgers made the bold call to leave the likes of captain Steven Gerrard and winger Raheem Sterling on the bench.

 

Lallana was one of those to come in, and he said: "We went out there to prove a point.

"We want to stay in the team for the weekend. We've got another big game against Chelsea at home. But the main thing was we wanted to get a result and we're disappointed we go away with nothing."

Rodgers received criticism prior to kick-off for his selection, but he said on ITV: "I knew what I was doing.

"You've seen how good they (the Liverpool players) were tonight. We're obviously disappointed with the result because the bottom line is we lost but, to come to a stadium like this where they're winning threes and fours against teams like Barcelona and to keep the game close right to the very end, showed the quality of our performance.

"We knew we would have to defend well but we also had the courage to play. We're very proud of the team."

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Liverpool sit third in Group B but will qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Ludogorets and Basle in their next two games.

"There's every chance," said Rodgers.

"That's what we looked at. We knew we'd have to beat Ludogorets away and then we were hoping it would come down to the last game against Basle at home.

"That hopefully will be the case. At least it's in our hands and that's something we'll aim to do."

PA

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