Brazilian midfielder Ramires capitalised on a series of Liverpool mistakes to give Chelsea a 12th-minute lead before Didier Drogba doubled the Blues’ advantage with a clinical finish soon after half-time.
Substitute Andy Carroll halved Chelsea’s advantage in the 65th minute, before being denied a dramatic equaliser by a full-stretch save from Petr Cech.
It was Liverpool’s seventh defeat in an FA Cup final, and Gerrard insisted the Reds must bounce back next year with a higher finish in the Premier League.
“We need to dust ourselves down and we need to respond to the challenge next year,” Gerrard told Liverpool’s website.
“We need to come back. Football is about highs and lows, it’s certainly been a low today.
“We’ve been fantastic in the cup competitions this year and the players deserve a lot of credit for that.
“We haven’t been good enough in the league this year and we deserve criticism and we need to take criticism like men.
“We need to do better. We’re Liverpool Football Club; we’re no seventh or eighth in the league. We’re better than that.”
The 31-year-old also defended the officials’ decision not to award Liverpool an equaliser after Cech’s superb save from Carroll’s header, despite replays showing the ball to having been millimetres from crossing the line.
“It’s difficult for the officials,” continued Gerrard. “Obviously from a biased point of view, we’ve got an argument with the computer image but the officials have got an impossible task when it’s so close and until technology comes in, then with decisions like that, you can’t really put a big argument forward.
“It’s one of those things: Chelsea got a bit of luck against Tottenham in the semi; they got a bit of luck again today. Maybe this was their year.”
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news