Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted his side were second best to Aston Villa as his dream of ending his Anfield career in style was left in tatters with a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup semi-final.
Philippe Coutinho had put the Reds ahead against the run of play, but goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph completed the turnaround for the Villans to set up a final against Arsenal.
The final falls on Gerrard’s 35th birthday and could have capped a memorable Reds’ career with one final piece of silverware, but the Liverpool skipper was left bitterly disappointed after an inspid collective and individual performance at Wembley.
"We were very disappointing," he said. "I thought Aston Villa were much better than us today and that's the overriding feeling after the game."
Liverpool were strong favourites going into the contest but Villa overshadowed them both physically and psychologically as the Reds illustrated their tendency to falter on the big occasion; something Gerrard acknowledged after the final whistle.
"We didn't play today, we looked very nervous for some reason,” the 34-year-old added.
“We're a team that's built on passing and playing it quickly but we were very disappointing in that aspect and they were much better than us."