Gerard Houllier has admitted that his Liverpool players were angry with their performance in the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Valencia last night.

The Reds were undone by a sprightly Valencia side whose impressive performance served notice of their Champions League ambitions this season.

“My players are angrywith themselves after that performance. They are in the dressing room not happy at all with what happened,” said Houllier.

“I knew this would be the hardest game for us in the group, they were just better than us on the night.

“I was disappointed because we never saw the true Liverpool out there.

“Valencia were more experienced. They have a steady, settled side and they have just won their title.

“They are a very, very good side. They played better than us and deserved to win.”

Houllier opted to field Emile Heskey and El Hadji Diouf in place of Michael Owen, but the pair rarely threatened and Houllier introduced Owen at half-tme in place of the woeful Diouf.

“I felt it was going to be a physical battle so that is why I started with Heskey up front and (El Hadji) Diouf just behind him,” added Houllier.

“But the system didn’t work as well as I had hoped. We looked shaky in defence, and we were not as bright in midfield and we could have done better up front.

“All that together is why we lost. It was a day off from the office.”

Valencia boss Rafael Benitez admmitted that he had expected his side to face Owen.

“We certainly expected to see Owen, he is part of the power of Liverpool,” said Benitez.

“But I would not criticise them for what they did, we expected (Emile) Heskey and we had to face him. Their coach must have had his reasons.

“But I expect Liverpool to hit back from this, they will stand up and fight because they are a great team.”