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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 22:17 GMT 23:17 UK
Benitez defends Gerrard decision
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez
Benitez had no regrets over his team selection
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez strongly defended his decision to start with Steven Gerrard on the bench against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.

Along with Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Peter Crouch and Sami Hyypia were also substitutes, a quartet that had started Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Everton.

"We must accept nobody can play at 100% for every match," said Benitez, after the Reds secured a 0-0 draw in Holland.

"If you're not 100% fit and ready then you'll be rested like that."

Gerrard eventually came on in the 72nd minute and nearly won the game for Liverpool with an inventive half-volley.

Benitez added: "He came on at the right time, we had needed to cover and work to stop their penetrating passes and that is why Momo Sissoko started.

When I saw Liverpool's team sheet I was shocked

PSV coach Ronald Koeman
"He has fantastic stamina, better than Alonso or Gerrard can reach.

"Now we have more options and we can use players in this way.

"We were intent on a clean sheet after that happened on Saturday, and we defended well and created enough chances to have won the match."

But PSV boss Ronald Koeman was surprised at Benitez's team selection.

He said: "When I saw their team sheet I was shocked. No Gerrard, no Alonso, no Hyypia, no Crouch.

"In the end though I was happy with a draw, especially because Liverpool used eight men behind the ball for much of the game.

"Gerrard could have won it for them at the end, but I was pleased with our performance.

"Drawing this one means that we will probably now have to win an away game at either Galatasaray or Bordeaux, those two sides drew their match 0-0 as well so the group is very tight."



SEE ALSO
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Liverpool
12 Sep 06 |  Europe
Everton 3-0 Liverpool
09 Sep 06 |  Premiership
Champions League round-up
12 Sep 06 |  Europe
Champions League photos
12 Sep 06 |  Football
Champions League lowdown
12 Sep 06 |  Europe


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