Brendan Rodgers hailed Liverpool's 2-0 Europa League defeat away to Zenit St. Petersburg as a "near-on perfect performance".
The Reds spurned a number of chances before Brazilian striker Hulk lashed in an unstoppable 25-yard drive to give Zenit the lead in the 70th minute before Sergei Semak doubled the advantage two minutes later.
Luis Suárez, in particular, experienced a profligate evening in front of goal however Rodgers, who has earned a reputation for post-defeat positivity this season, was still buoyant.
"We're very disappointed to have lost the game. After that opening spell, when they had too much space, I thought it was a near-on perfect away performance," he told ITV.
"We had chances to score and should have been in front, and we were defensively solid. So to concede the two goals in the last 20 minutes, especially the second one, was disappointing."
Rodgers added the next goal in the tie was "vital" and should Liverpool halve Zenit's advantage it would "open up the tie".
The Europa League is Liverpool's final chance of silverware as they stare down the barrel of a sixth trophyless campaign in seven years.
Their defeat in Russia on Thursday night was their 13th of the season and second of the week after West Brom triumphed at Anfield on Monday night by the same scoreline.