Football

Rodgers: We didn't create enough

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers bemoaned his team's lack of cutting edge as the Reds suffered a shock home 1-0 loss to Aston Villa yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Shorn of the attacking prowess of Daniel Sturridge (above) who was injured on England duty last week, the 41-year-old also left the in-form Raheem Sterling on the bench.

Explaining his decision, he told the Liverpool website: "We've got a big couple of months coming up.

"Looking at it, I felt this was a game we could (rest Sterling).

"If he didn't have international football, it would have been a different case."

Rodgers admitted his side struggled to break down the visitors.

"It is disappointing. We started slowly, gave away a poor goal, picked up the tempo after that and the players gave everything. But we lacked that bit of quality and the final ball," said the Northern Irishman.

"You have to give Aston Villa credit, they defended well once they got the goal, kept their lines tight in a low block and we couldn't get the final pass, so it was really frustrating for us.

"They defended well; the back four and midfield five were solid and (Gabriel) Agbonlahor on the counter-attack is always a threat.

The Liverpool boss admitted that he has struggled against the Villans since his arrival at Anfield in 2012.

"We started slowly, which is unlike us.

"We have found a problem with Aston Villa in my time here.

"We lacked that bit of quality in the final third.

"It was just (that) as a team we didn't have the intensity in our game. Everything was centralised and they were very compact, we needed to get around the sides a bit quicker.

"The second half was much better in terms of the domination but, apart from Coutinho's little bit when he hit the post and worked the space well, we never created as much as we would normally do."

- Wire Services.