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Hodgson delighted with new Liverpool midfield partnership

In the absence of Steven Gerrard - who tore a hamstring in England's friendly defeat to France last week - and Lucas, Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson paired Christian Poulsen with Raul Meireles for the first time. And Hodgson was certainly happy with his two central midfielders as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners over West Ham at Anfield.

"You could argue Steven Gerrard and Lucas have been two of our best players but it is nice to show we are a good team and we do have a bit of strength in depth," said the 63-year-old.

"Christian was excellent and so was Raul, they complement each other.

"Christian is a good player and I've felt sorry for him. If you can pay a price for being too honest I think he may have done that in one or two games earlier when the team was not playing well and he has tried to do much and failed.

"But I always knew he was far from that and he showed what a good player he is.

"And the important thing for us is to get Raul Meireles on the ball.

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