Liverpool boss Benitez explains surprise substitutions

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has explained his surprise substitutions for their 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid last night. Benitez saw his side surrender the advantage in the second-half after Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and goalscorer Robbie Keane were all substituted with knocks. The Reds boss admitted it was not his intention to withdraw the trio and is hopeful that the precautionary measure will ensure the players are fit for Chelsea on Sunday.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has explained his surprise substitutions for their 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid last night.

Benitez saw his side surrender the advantage in the second-half after Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and goalscorer Robbie Keane were all substituted with knocks.

The Reds boss admitted it was not his intention to withdraw the trio and is hopeful that the precautionary measure will ensure the players are fit for Chelsea on Sunday.

"The three players had some problems," he said. "Keane and Gerrard and Alonso were tired, so we were trying to use players with fresh legs. We were trying to protect all of them by substituting them.

"I don't think they are serious. We will have to wait and see tomorrow.

"It was a little bit of a muscle problem for Robbie. Gerrard is okay. He was really tired and Alonso has a knock on his knee.

"We need to check with Keane. He will see the doctor."

Have your say