Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers said his team were too passive despite being denied a late equaliser. Getty Images

Liverpool manger Brendan Rodgers has attacked the "poor" decision which saw Mario Balotelli's late equaliser disallowed in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa.

Balotelli went through with two minutes left and slotted beyond Shay Given, only to see linesman John Brooks raise his flag, with television replays clearly showing the Italian was played onside.

The goal proved decisive as Villa claimed a 2-1 victory at Wembley which carried them into their first FA Cup final for 15 years and Rodgers fumed at the injustice which cost Liverpool.

"A poor decision it was," he said. "We didn't create too any chances but that was clear.

"He's looking across the line and it's the opposite full-back, the right back, that is keeping him on and he's at least a yard on so he's got to see that.

"Mario is through on goal and we expect him to finish so it was a bad decision.

The wrongly chalked off Balotelli goal was a rare attacking moment for Liverpool after they went behind to Delph's 54th minute goal, as the seven-time winners struggled throughout.

The uneven performance follows recent defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal which have derailed the club's attempts to claim a Champions League spot.

Defeat in the last four is the second time Rodgers' side have fallen at the penultimate hurdle in a domestic cup competition this season and the manager is ready to stage an inquest into the club's failure in big games.

"We've come up short in a few games so it's something we need to look at I think all these experiences will make us better," he added.

"We're a team that is growing and changed quite bit in the summer but hopefully these experiences will hopefully help in the future."

Exit from the FA Cup also means Steven Gerrard' illustrious 17-year career at Liverpool will not end with a trophy but after starting the 34-year-old for the first time since February, Rodgers was proud of his display.

"He was doing everything he possibly could to help the team and I thought he was excellent. Collectively we didn't perform well enough to win today."