Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted that the pressure of the FA Cup semi final got to his players on Sunday, reports The Guardian.
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The Red lost 2-1 to Aston Villa in the match, despite the Merseyside club being far ahead of them in the Premier League. Goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph were enough to beat the Anfield outfit after Philippe Coutinho had put them ahead after 30 minutes.
Liverpool also lost 2-1 to Manchester United in another recent ‘big’ match. That defeat has left them off the pace in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League, seven points off fourth placed Manchester City. They were also defeated in the semi finals of the League Cup, further hurting their reputation in big matches.
The Northern Irishman said: “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.”
When asked about their big game mentality, he added: “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.”