Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers defends resting first-team players for Real Madrid clash

After making seven first-team changes for their Champions League meeting away to Real Madrid, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested his team’s performance somewhat vindicated the decision, reports BBC Sport.

“I didn’t see this as a big showcase game where I had to play the so-called names. It might have seemed a gamble but for me it wasn’t. The performance was far from throwing the white towel in. Right to the very end my players put in a performance befitting of the wonderful club this is,” he said.

Liverpool rested Dejan Lovren, Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Mario Balotelli ahead of the Real meeting, and the second string side went on to lose 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The players brought in did put in a spirited and energetic performance, but were comfortably second best for the majority of the game.

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