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Brendan Rodgers: We just were nowhere near our level


Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits Aston Villa deserved to win Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

Philippe Coutinho gave the Reds the lead in the 30th minute of the game but Villa bounced back straight away with Christian Benteke restoring parity six minutes later.

And it was Fabian Delph who scored the winner with the Northern Irishman left bemoaning his side's inability to end the season with a possibility of lifting a trophy.

"As you can imagine, we're obviously bitterly disappointed, and more with the performance," Rodgers said.

"You can always lose a game, but you'd hope you can play well and give yourself an opportunity. I thought we were second best today, to be honest. They were better than us. We had some chances but Aston Villa were better than us today.

"There's an obligation here to fight right until the very end. We have come close now in two competitions but failed to make the steps. Hopefully in the future we can learn from that.

"I think sometimes you can want to win too much and the focus comes away from what allows you to win.

"I thought our energy was low today. Aston Villa had a good start and I felt we were too passive in the game. I had to change the system, it got us some joy, we started to control the game a little bit and then we got in front - but we didn't keep the lead long enough.

"We were too passive on the side of the field, Fabian Delph skips through way too easily and they got back into the game.

"Second half, we hoped to play better but we just didn't create enough today.

"It was a trademark of the team last year - in the first 20 minutes of games, the intensity of our game was very high.

"Of late, that hasn't quite been the case. We just were nowhere near our level.

"Congratulations to Aston Villa because they played well and are through to the final. The better team won."

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