Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers said his team were too passive despite being denied a late equaliserGetty Images

Brendan Rodgers has admitted Liverpool lacked energy and were "too passive" on the wide positions in their FA Cup semi final defeat to Aston Villa.

Philippe Coutinho gave the lead for the Merseyside club in the 30th minute, before Christian Benteke equalised after six minutes. It was Fabian Delph's second half goal that helped Tim Sherwood's side make it to the final of the FA Cup after defeating the Reds 2-1 at Wembley.

The former Swansea manager became the first manager since Phil Taylor in the 1950s to not win silverware in his first three years in charge at Anfield as Liverpool end this season without any trophies.

"I thought our energy was low today. Aston Villa had a good start and I felt we were too passive in the game. I had to change the system, it got us some joy, we started to control the game a little bit and then we got in front - but we didn't keep the lead long enough," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website.

"We were too passive on the side of the field, Fabian Delph skips through way too easily and they got back into the game. Second half, we hoped to play better but we just didn't create enough today."

"Of late, that hasn't quite been the case. We just were nowhere near our level. Congratulations to Aston Villa because they played well and are through to the final. The better team won," he added.

Rodgers made a change in the formation in the second half as he replaced Lazar Markovic with striker Mario Balotelli, which forced the Reds to move from three-man defence to back four.

The Italian international found the back of the net and the equaliser was disallowed by the assistant referee after he raised the flag. The television replay suggested the former Manchester City striker was played onside.

Rodgers admitted he wanted to add more energy and flow into the game, which forced him to make substitutions.

"It was to try to spark some energy and some flow into the game. You obviously give credit to Aston Villa, but for me, I'll always look at my own team and I felt that the movement and the sharpness of our game was missing," the Liverpool manager explained.