Where did it go wrong for us today? Brendan Rodgers shares his thoughts…
The Reds boss has admitted that his side were second best against Aston Villa in today’s FA Cup semi-final. He added that his young team struggled, not for the first time this season, to deal with the size of the occasion.
Philippe Coutinho gave us the dream start to the game, netting the opening goal midway through the first-half, only for Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to ensure victory for the underdogs and book them a spot in the final against Arsenal.
Speaking about the game, he told the BBC: “Dealing with the occasion is something we need to improve at. There have been other big games where we have dealt with that very well, but there are others where we haven’t.
“We need to focus on the performances and if we do that then normally get the victories. But today it wasn’t at the right level.
“Now we have to strive for top-four Premier League finish – it is an obligation of this wonderful club to fight until the finish.”
“We were very disappointing – Villa were much better than us. We were nervous for some reason, maybe when you want to win something so much perhaps it plays on your mind.
“For a team with a lot of energy we has no energy today. It is disappointing that in another big game we didn’t show that courage. Villa did, they had good energy and are playing with a bit more freedom.”
Liverpool toiled in the closing stages as they pressed for an equaliser. Steven Gerrard saw his header cleared off the line, while Mario Balotelli had his strike incorrectly ruled out for offside, much to the displeasure of Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman, who also quoted by the Daily Express, added: “It was a very poor decision.
“The official is looking across the line and should see the full-back playing Mario at least a yard onside. You need that to go for you. Steven Gerrard had a header cleared off the line, but apart from that we were too passive.”
It’s been a difficult season for Tim Sherwood’s side, who have spent much of the campaign battling against relegation. However, the arrival of the former Tottenham boss and the return to form of striker Christian Benteke has unfortunately proved decisive.