Liverpool FC manager claims FA Cup pressure too great for players

Brendan Rodgers admits that Aston Villa were the better team at Wembley

Liverpool FC manager claims FA Cup pressure too great for players

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April 20th, 2015

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Liverpool’s season has now lost all significance after a 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat against Aston Villa on Sunday.

There will be no grand farewell for Steven Gerrard after the Reds took the lead at Wembley only for Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to score and send the Villans through to the final.

It was a fair outcome based on the balance of play, with Tim Sherwood’s side playing with greater freedom and Brendan Rodgers felt as though the pressure of the match impaired the overall performance of his team.

“We’re obviously bitterly disappointed, more with the performance,” said Rodgers, who changed his system twice during the game. “You can always lose a game but you’d hope you play well and give yourself an opportunity. I thought we were second best today, to be honest, I thought they were better than us.

“We have reached two semi-finals, we need to have the courage and bravery to play better in the big games. We didn’t play well enough today, technically we weren’t quite on it, we looked as if the occasion and the energy got to us a wee bit. But that’s what can happen sometimes.

“We’ve come up short in a few games. That’s something we’d certainly need to improve. We’re a team that’s grown and changed quite a bit in the summer. But all these experiences will hopefully help in the future.

“That ability to build our game from behind and deal with the pressure is important because the minute we come away from that, that’s not how we work. We can’t be kicking it long up to Raheem Sterling as our central striker. Overall I thought that part of our game was a way off.”

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