Adam Lallana on Real Madrid: No surprises over team selection

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Adam Lallana on Real Madrid: midfielder backs manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has spoken out in defence of manager Brendan Rodgers’ team selection, claiming that he still expects the Reds to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, despite defeat to Real Madrid.

Lallana, who was quoted by the Daily Mail, played the full 90 minutes as Liverpool – who rested seven first-team regulars for the game – suffered a third successive defeat European defeat to leave them third in their group.

The Reds lost 1-0 but put in a spirited performance despite being without the likes of captain Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling, who were left on the bench until the final half an hour.

Asked whether he was surprised by Brendan Rodgers’ team selection, Lallana told reporters: “The manager has brought players in and he’s confident we’re good enough to perform.”

While many predicted the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez would run riot against Liverpool’s weakened side, the Reds were beaten by a solitary Karim Benzema strike mid-way through the first-half.

Lallana, who arrived at Anfield in a £25m deal from Southampton during the summer, believes the Merseysiders were the game right until the final whistle.

“We were in the game as long as it stayed 1-0. We had half chances and we were in it until the last minute. We’ve got to win the last two games but we’re confident and capable of achieving it.”

Liverpool must now win their remaining Group B fixtures and Lallana is confident Rodgers men will progress: “Of course we can, we have a tough game away at Ludogorets and Basel at home. These are the games you want to be involved in as a professional.”

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