Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was proud of his side, despite suffering a 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.
At the end of a difficult week, which had seen them travel to Arsenal and Chelsea, Villa looked lethargic in the first half against Liverpool.
Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute after a series of deft touches was followed by a clever finish beyond Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Villa responded well though, as Christian Benteke forced Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet into two excellent saves, but they could not find an equaliser to cap their impressive second half.
"I knew we'd have an adverse reaction from (playing on) Saturday (and) Wednesday's game," Lambert said.
"I knew that it was important that we tried to hang in when Liverpool had the domination for 30 minutes or so. (In) the last 10-15 minutes of the first half, I thought we started to get a second wind.
"In the second half I thought we were excellent. We gave it a go. For us, we have played probably three teams that are expected to be in that top group and we have given everyone a game.
"We have won one, just got beaten on Wednesday and just got beat (today)."
Lambert felt his side were the better team after the break and praised Mignolet for keeping the in-form Benteke at bay.
"The goalkeeper has had two fantastic saves from Christian, Gabby (Agbonlahor) might have scored and then Andi's (Weimann) deflected one," he said.
"He's a top goalkeeper and he's made two world class saves.
"We kept on going. It wasn't as if we never had chances. Second half I thought we dominated the game."
Villa will not play another Premier League game for three weeks, with more than a fortnight of rest between Wednesday's League Cup tie against Rotherham United and their home fixture against Newcastle United on September 14.
|Coach: P. Lambert|
for M. Lowton 65'
for A. Weimann 73'
for A. Westwood 83'
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