Liverpool Rodgers defends decision to leave Gerrard and Suarez out of Europa League tie

Brendan Rodgers has hit back at suggestions he should have picked Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez to play Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League after watching a young Liverpool slide slip to defeat in Moscow, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The Mirror adds that Liverpool likely need four points from their next two Europa League games to ensure qualification to the next stage of the competition. The Reds play Swiss side Young Boys at home later in November before travelling to Italy to meet Udinese in December in the final round of games in Group A.

Rodgers named a side that contained a host of young players, including Andre Wisdom, Jon Flanagan, Conor Coady and Adam Morgan, as well as substitute appearances from Dani Pacheco and Suso. Experience was however present from Jamie Carragher, Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, while it was a mistake from Uruguay international Sebastian Coates that allowed Lacina Traore to score the only goal of the game.

Rodgers said: “I don’t think I should have brought the likes of Gerrard, not at all. That’s disrespectful to the players who were here.

We just got punished for one mistake, otherwise the players who were here did fantastically well, and it wouldn’t have mattered if those other players were here. It is just one of those things, and we will have to take from it and learn from it.

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