Brendan Rodgers refuses to condemn Liverpool performance

Brendan Rodgers refuses to criticise his Liverpool team after their 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has refused to be critical of his team's display as they lost 3-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League this evening.

Karim Benzema scored twice after Cristiano Ronaldo's opener to consign the Reds to a second successive defeat in Europe's premier competition, and the Northern Irishman admitted that Carlo Ancelotti's team were the better side.

"The first 20-22 minutes of the game, I thought we made an excellent start," Rodgers told Sky Sports News. "And then from that point through to half time [Real Madrid] showed their real quality – they were terrific.

"Second half, we're then obviously playing for pride and I thought [my players] were outstanding in the second half, they kept going and they're playing against a top-quality team and we were probably unfortunate to be 3-0 down at the break.

"I can't ask for more, that opening period we were very good and probably needed a goal in that period. You can see why they're [European] champions. Set-pieces have been an issue for us this season and we didn't defend well enough."

Los Blancos host Rodgers's squad in the next round of fixtures.

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli plays during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane in London on August 31, 2014
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