Former England stars Gary Lineker and Paul Scholes questioned Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' bold move to leave out star men for the Champions League tussle with Real Madrid.
Club captain Steven Gerrard was a substitute, along with Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho.
Lineker suggested Liverpool's selection was a sign of surrender, while Scholes claimed Gerrard would be unimpressed to be on the bench at the Bernabeu.
On Twitter, Lineker wrote: "Rodgers has left out Henderson, Sterling, Balotelli, Gerrard and Coutinho at Real Madrid. He has, though, thrown in a white towel.
Selecting a weakened side in Europe's premier competition, especially against Real Madrid, is unbefitting of a club of Liverpool's stature.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 4, 2014
"Selecting a weakened side in Europe's premier competition, especially against Real Madrid, is unbefitting of a club of Liverpool's stature.
"If I were one of Liverpool's star players, I'd be choked to be left out of a game at the Bernabeu against the European Champions."
Scholes, working at the match as an ITV pundit, said Gerrard would have no trouble playing in Europe on Tuesday and in the Premier League against Chelsea on Saturday.
The former Manchester United midfielder said: "I think Steven Gerrard is capable of playing in this game and on Saturday. He can still have his two-day rest.
"I think that's why he gave up international football, to play in games like this. I don't think he'll be happy tonight."
Liverpool centre-half Dejan Lovren was also left out of the starting team and his wife posted a picture on Instagram with their daughter at the Bernabeu with the caption "Why my daddy doesn't play?"