Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers buoyed by young team

Jordan Rossiter (left) and Adam Lallana
Teenager Jordan Rossiter (left) celebrates with goalscorer Adam Lallana

Manager Brendan Rodgers said he was "proud" of the young players who helped Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in Bordeaux in their opening Europa League group game.

The Reds, who at one stage had an XI with an average age of 21.7 years, took the lead through Adam Lallana before Jussie grabbed a late equaliser for the French Ligue 1 side.

"I'll always give young players an opportunity if they've got the personality," said Rodgers.

"I was so proud of them."

Jordan Rossiter, 18, started and was joined in midfield by Spanish teenager Pedro Chirivella, 18, who replaced injured defender Kolo Toure in the 28th minute.

Rodgers revealed that the former Ivory Coast player suffered a dead leg in his accidental collision with team-mate and keeper Simon Mignolet.

Winger Jordon Ibe, 19, defender Joe Gomez, 18, and forward Divock Origi, 20, were also named in the starting XI, while 19-year-old Cameron Brannagan came on to make his debut. Two other academy graduates, Daniel Cleary and Connor Randall, were on the bench.

"Jordan Rossiter and young Pedro gained more control as the game wore on," he added.

"They were able to combine better with other players. It's invaluable experience for them and I thought they acquitted themselves very well."

Sakho in contention for weekend

French defender Mamadou Sakho made his first appearance of the season, having not been given an opportunity by Rodgers until Thursday's encounter.

The Reds manager said he would be considered for Sunday's match at home to Norwich.

Rodgers said: "Sakho was immense at the back. He knows he has had to be patient and his attitude has been first class.

"He has trained very well, kept professional, done his extra work on his fitness and he has got his rewards for that.

"He certainly comes into the reckoning for the weekend against Norwich."

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