The Nerazzurri were thrashed 3-0 by Werder, but would've topped Group A with a victory, as Tottenham were held 3-3 by Twente.
"First place didn't just depend on us and Tottenham were always leading Twente," insisted Benitez on Sky Sport Italia.
"It was clear our objective is the Club World Cup and because of that I used a lot of young players, who were the only positive note from this evening."
President Massimo Moratti had said beforehand that he did not want his Treble winners embarrassed, but that proved to be the case.
"The important game was against Twente and we won it," assured the Coach. "This was not a game we had to win, so that's why we fielded so many youngsters."