Unai Emery chose to focus on the positive aspects of Aston Villa’s performance after side suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
The visitors held off Villa’s plucky challenge to close the gap on the Premier League’s top four thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and a first senior strike for youngster Stefan Bajcetic.
Yet Liverpool rode their luck against mid-table Villa, who put up a fight but missed chances and lacked the quality when it mattered most despite Ollie Watkins’ fine header.
The result leaves Villa 12th in the table, five points clear of the relegation places.
And speaking after the game, Emery told Amazon Prime: “We made a big effort. Over the 90 minutes there were moments for us and for them.
“We had the chances and if we scored then maybe the match would go differently. But Liverpool created chances as well.
“They had good transitions with good pace and when they scored the third goal it finished it.
Villa deserved more from chances created
“It was tough in the first half because we had chances and didn’t score, but they scored two goals from set-pieces. They had some chances from transitions as well but we deserved to score a minimum of one goal.
“We spoke about the second half, to try to get into their box and score one goal, to achieve our opportunities in the match, and we made it. In the second half we recovered and for 30 minutes we played well, but the third goal was a real upset for us.
“Playing like that, we can create more chances. We have to control the transition more but against Liverpool that’s different. I can be optimistic [for the future] but I’m disappointed about the result.”