London: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has dismissed as "nonsense" talk of a falling out with manager Brendan Rodgers after he was dropped from the starting lineup for Saturday`s victory over Stoke City.
Gerrard was left out of the first 11 for the match at Anfield as Liverpool arrested a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats with a nervy and hard-fought 1-0 victory that arrived courtesy of a late goal from Glen Johnson.
It was the 16th anniversary of the 34-year-old midfielder`s debut for the Merseyside club and he was keen to play down a reported rift.
"Just to set the record straight media talk of a fall out between us 2 is NONSENSE ..have a nice Sunday," he wrote on Instagram, accompanying a picture of him and Rodgers in training.
Gerrard came on as a late substitute in a more attacking role as Liverpool went in search of the opening goal, having largely dominated the match without finding a breakthrough.
Liverpool manager Rodgers had preferred Lucas Leiva in the anchor midfield position that Gerrard has recently occupied as he sought to help plug holes in a leaky defence, as well as handing a well-earned rest to his captain who had been a virtual ever-present.
Gerrard`s role had come under scrutiny from fans and pundits this season as teams sought to nullify his influence and curb his ability to pull strings from a deep midfield position.
Without the incisive running of strikers Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in the close season, and the injured Daniel Sturridge, Gerrard`s trademark long passes have often lacked a target, reducing his influence in the quarter-back role.
The introduction of Lucas, as well as Kolo Toure at centre back, seemed to shore up Liverpool`s rearguard, and both drew praise from Rodgers in the wake of Saturday`s clash.
"Lucas Leiva has come into the team and been outstanding in his two games -- very tenacious, aggressive and can pass the ball. Kolo Toure`s experience coming into the team has been good for us," the manager told reporters.