Brendan Rodgers defends his team selection after defeat at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Brendan Rodgers defended his team selection after their 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions league.

The Liverpool boss made a total of seven changes to his team leaving out the likes of Gerrard, Sterling, Henderson, Glen Johnson and Philippe Coutinho and fielded his second team giving them an opportunity to show what they can do.

Karim Benzema fired home the from close range in the 27th minute to give Los Blancos a 1-0 lead which was enough for Madrid to qualify for the 2nd round.

Brendan Rodgers' men did well and he believes, “People obviously don't know a lot of the players well,” he told Sky Sports after the match.

“There are a lot of new young players that were adapting into the team and the squad.

“We knew we had a real tough game tonight, but I didn't rest players for Saturday. I picked what I thought could maybe – on the back on Saturday’s game against Newcastle – get the result for us tonight, and I think the performance showed that.

“We showed great courage. The players that came into the team were excellent and we were unfortunate not to get a result against a team that is the leading team in the world at the moment.

“I had every confidence that the players we chose tonight would do well and I don’t think any other players I could have put in tonight could have put in the performance we put in.”

Carlo Ancelotti's side maintained their 100% win in the group stage this season, with Basel in 2nd place -following their 4-0 win over Ludogorets - and Liverpool in 3rd, three points behind Basel.

“There are so many positives from tonight,” Rodgers added. “Obviously we lost the game and we are disappointed with that. It will now go down to the two [remaining] games in the group – that’s what we anticipated and it’s still very much in our own hands.”

Liverpool travel to play Ludogorets next in the Champions League before facing Basel at home in December and must win both matches to qualify from the group.


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