Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has given up hopes of finishing in the top four this season following the Reds' 4-1 loss at the hands of Arsenal on 4 April.

The Merseyside club visited the Emirates Stadium in what was a crucial clash for a place in the top four.

The Reds were six points behind Arsenal ahead of the game and it was imperative that they got a positive result. They had lost their previous league encounter to yet another top four rival Manchester United just before the international break at the end of March.

However, Rodgers' team struggled from the word go and it was a dominating performance by the north London club as they emerged convincing winners to put an end to the Anfield club's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

The Northern Irishman, who also has little hopes of qualifying, has called on his team to instead focus on finishing the league in a strong fashion. He wants his boys to put in extra focus on going all the way into the FA Cup, for which they face a quarter-final replay against Blackburn Rovers, with the winners meeting Aston Villa in the last four.

"I doubt we will be in the top four now, there's too much ground to make up," Rodgers is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

"That's the realistic view. It will be difficult to qualify for the Champions League. Now we must concentrate on the FA Cup," the former Swansea City boss added.

"Up until the Manchester United game, we were the form team. But we have been deal two big blows in our last two games, we haven't performed as we would have liked and that has cost us the results."

"There's been a lot of learning this season, for both myself and the players. Now we have to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can and take that into next season," the manager explained.