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Benitez defends Liverpool selections

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez defended his decision to start yesterday's 0-0 draw at Portsmouth with Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres on the bench.

Benitez, who did not even include Dutch star Dirk Kuyt in his 16-man squad, insisted: "If there is one title for us to win this season it is the Premier League. But we want to win the Champions League, too.

"When Gerrard and Torres came on we had more creativity in attack than we had before but we had 18 players on international duty around the world last week and I don't think it would have made any difference if they had started the game.

"I just had to try to pick the fittest and freshest players and we had the better of the game in the first half but then it became more open and they had chances, too."

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