BAINES: WE CAME UP SHORT
Leighton Baines admits Everton were not good enough in possession to keep Liverpool at bay in their FA Cup semi-final defeat.
The Toffees took the lead midway through the first half when a defensive mix-up between Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger led to Nikica Jelavic coolly slotting past Brad Jones.
They held their advantage until the 62nd minute, when Sylvain Distin's mis-hit backpass put Luis Suarez through to equalise.
All the momentum was with the Reds and Andy Carroll's winner four minutes from time was the result of a second half of increasing pressure.
"We took the lead but we never really built on it. Once they got the goal they built on it," said Baines.
"Even before half-time I thought they got on top of it and we knew we had to try to play a bit better in the second half and we weren't good enough.
"They were on top for most of the game and we weren't really good enough in possession.
"We gave it away and didn't really create any chances."
Liverpool had the better of the opportunities, with Carroll squandering a gilt-edged chance early in the second half when he planted a header wide from close range.
Jelavic, after five goals since his January arrival from Rangers, looked sharp but Everton did not get the best out of the Croatia international.
"If you give Jelavic chances he has shown he will score, but we didn't give him many opportunities," added Baines.
"He got a slice of fortune and was 'Johnny on the spot' for the opening goal and made a chance for himself."
With Everton ahead of Liverpool in the league Baines said that was the incentive for the remainder of the season.
"We need something to focus on and that will be it," said the England international.
"It will take a few days for the dust to settle on this one and then we will go again."
Midfielder Tim Cahill felt his side were unlucky in conceding goals to defensive errors.
"I think is there for everyone to see - we made two mistakes and we got punished. In football that happens," said the Australia international.
"They seem to have luck on their side when it comes to playing against Everton and they get the rub of the green - a few decisions didn't go our way but that happens.
"It didn't seem like they caused us loads of problems, we pretty much handed the game over.
"A lot of respect to Kenny and his boys, if they win the final then fair play to them.
"I am just proud we got this far."
Cahill said it was important the team, who have lost only three of their last 17 matches, bounced back quickly and felt the run to the semi-final would help them in the long run.
"We have lost to a good footballing team but we've had an amazing run. We'll be up and at them in training in the week and look forward to the next game," he added.
"That is probably the best thing for us, the next game can't come quick enough.
"The manager has always managed to take us to the next level and every year he is trying to find that extra ounce out of every player and himself to push forward this club."
Latest Football News at 18:00 BST