Liverpool kick-started their season last night with a 4-1 win over Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League at Anfield last night, in a match which manager Roy Hodgson decided to rest many of his top players in preparation for the clash with Manchester United this weekend.
However, that decision paid off, as goals from Joe Cole, David Ngog and Lucas Leiva showed that the Reds don’t always have to rely on Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. Something Hodgson himself was quick to point out in the post-match press conference.
‘I had no doubt, given we have so many internationals, this was the moment to give them a rest,’ said Hodgson. ‘It is to allow them to prepare properly for Sunday's game.
‘The ones who came in did a good job and got a good result and, in my opinion, the decision would have been just as valid even if we had not got a good result. They made us work hard to contain them but even in that period Joe showed some good touches.’