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Brendan Rodgers: The Chelsea game can kick-start the season for us


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists his decision to rest a number of key players against Real Madrid was taken "in the best interest of the club".

The Reds host leaders Chelsea at Anfield in the weekend and the manager says three points could be the perfect way to improve their position in the English Premier League.

"I put out the best team on Tuesday that could get a result," Rodgers said on Thursday.

"My players were magnificent, I think the criticism is a disservice to them.

"We had a game plan against the best team in the world right now, to stay in the game, control. We then opened up the game with the subs.

"The idea was to be in the game still after 65 minutes, which we did, then use Steven's passing ability, Raheem's pace and Coutinho's creativity.

"I was very proud of the players and the supporters - over 4,000 of them there giving the team a great backing. The criticism is unfair.

"To call Kolo Toure, Lucas Leiva or Adam Lallana a 'reserve'? Those players deserve more praise than that.

"I know in my heart that I make decisions in the best interest of Liverpool FC. The performance spoke louder than any words I can say.

"This weekend's game against Chelsea is obviously a big game.

"We'll have learnt from last season's defeat to them, it'll be tough though. They're the best team in the league at the moment, that's why they are top of the league.

"When we play at Anfield, no matter the opponent, we have every confidence we can go on and get a result.

"This game offers us a great chance at home to get a result and can kick-start the season for us."

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Brendan Rodgers, Kolo Toure, Lucas Leiva