Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had no complaints after a lackadaisical performance for his side which effectively ends their slim chances of securing a Champions League qualification spot.
Rodgers said: “I spoke to the players at the end and I told them that we have an obligation to fight right to the end of the season.
“We wanted to be in that top four but it was always going to be difficult for us with the way our season mapped itself out. But we are looking to get momentum to take us through to next season.
“We didn’t look like scoring – we had enough of the ball but we never really threatened and we were disappointed with the goal we conceded.
“The players put great energy into the game and they worked very hard but their struggles tonight were the same as they have been for a great part of the season in terms of creativity and scoring goals.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers jumped to the defence of beleaguered striker Mario Balotelli who was substituted midway through the second half after another ineffectual performance.
Rodgers inisisted: “Mario is doing his best – he’s come off tonight with a foot injury. I think it’s clear over the course of the season, not just in this game, that he’s struggling.
“But Mario has got a few years left on his contract and it is fair to say that every single player here is playing for his future.”