LIVERPOOL BOSS Brendan Rodgers admits his side were beaten by the better team following Swansea’s 3-1 victory at Anfield in the League Cup.
A much-changed Reds side fell two goals behind after a Chico header and a Nathan Dyer breakaway goal handed the visitors a deserved lead.
Luis Suarez gave the hosts a chance, finishing from fellow substitute Steven Gerrard’s free-kick late on, but the Swans wrapped it up as Jonathan De Guzman swept home.
And Rodgers had no complaints with the result, insisting the south Wales side were good value for their win.
“I thought the best team won. We were too slow, no tempo first half and Swansea were bright, creative and very good,” he said. ”It took the introduction of Steven and Luis to up the tempo for us in the second half and then we looked like we could but just couldn’t get the goal and got done on two breakaways.”
The Northern Irishman also lamented the failure of the club’s fringe players to grasp their chance, with both Samed Yesil and Joe Cole being hauled off at half-time after poor showings.
“We’ve got a very small squad and a thin squad and like what I’ve done in the other games I’ve rotated players, looked at young players and fringe players and given people the opportunity to come into the Premier League team,” he said.
“But I thought we needed an injection. Obviously second half we were much brighter and had chances but couldn’t score them, and it’s no good if you don’t score. It was disappointing to lose and be out of the competition but I don’t think we can have any complaints.
“I know the size of the job here and I know a lot of the work. That again is another lesson for me tonight in terms of where we’re at. ”
The 39-year-old went on to hint at Cole’s performance in particular as a cause of concern, with the attacker having rarely featured for the Reds in recent times – despite his rumoured salary of around 100,000 pounds per week.
“Joe had an opportunity. The club have invested an astronomical amount of money on a player who is talented,” he said. ”Obviously he has been back fit now for a couple of weeks and the opportunities have been limited for Joe but then you’ve got to see the opportunity. I thought it was difficult for him just like it was for the team in the first half.
“We were too slow. It wasn’t what I’d want and expect from a team that we’re trying to set up to be dynamic so I think it was a difficult night for him.”