Liverpool could have taken a first-half lead when Adam Morgan’s through pass presented Jordan Henderson with a clearcut opportunity but the midfielder opted to square the ball back across the box and the chance was gone.
Rodgers’ men, as has been the common theme of their season, were punished for being wasteful when Lacina Traoré produced a moment of magic to flick the ball over Sebastián Coates and chip Brad Jones on the stroke of half-time.
The Reds manager introduced Suso and Dani Pacheco in search of an equaliser after the interval, but it was Traoré who come closest to scoring again, with the African spurning two openings as the Russian side clung on for victory.
“I feel for the players tonight because I thought they were outstanding,” Rodgers told ITV.
“In the first half we were tactically terrific for 44 minutes and 50 seconds and then we just switched off and made a mistake at the end of the half.
“I’m very proud of the players. It was a terrific team performance on a difficult pitch. But at this level, you get punished if you make mistakes and that’s the only disappointment.”
He added: “It was a much-changed team. We still deserved something from the game.
“We just need to be clinical and it’s something we need to improve going forward.
“But I’ve no complaints. We had a lot of young players as well as senior players like Jamie Carragher who played admirably for us.”
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