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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Rodgers: The kids are alright

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has highlighted the positive performance of the club's youth brigade despite his squad letting a two-goal lead slip against Arsenal in the English Premier League.

Ready to forgive and forget for the shock FA Cup defeat to Oldham, Rodgers praised the ability of Liverpool's next generation to jump back from an abysmal performance.

And in a surprise about-face from the conciliatory 40-year-old, Rodgers said it was he who should shoulder the blame for Liverpool's untimely FA Cup exit.

"Sunday was more my fault than theirs," Rodgers admitted. "I'm a great believer in young players, I look at the depth of our squad and put a lot of trust in them.

"The problem is when I put them in and I don't have some of our big players its difficult. And that's how it as on Sunday. But I never had any second thoughts that I would get a reaction."

However, Wednesday's 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium was another blow for the Anfield club after Theo Walcott and Oliver Giroud cancelled out the earlier strikes of Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson, leaving Liverpool three points behind its London rival and three spots outside a Champions League berth.

But Liverpool's mid-table position has done little to hamper the club's ability to attract quality players to Merseyside, with new signing Coutinho making an £8.5million move from Inter Milan.

"A club like Liverpool will always have a pull for top players, even though we're not where we want to be," Rodgers said.

"The history of this club will always get top players to want to come. It's a real coup for us. Inter Milan didn't want to sell him, but thankfully he's chosen to come."

However, Rodgers doused rumours Blackpool's Tom Ince would join Coutinho in the Liverpool fold.

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