KENNY DALGLISH admits Liverpool were handed a stinging lesson by Manchester City – but challenged his side to use the defeat to their benefit.
The Reds missed the opportunity to go level on points with fourth placed Chelsea as the league leaders piled the misery on Dalglish's men in their first of eight games without the banned Luis Suarez.
The manager bemoaned his side's lack of clinical edge as well as the way in which the hosts were able to plunder their three goals.
Stewart Downing wasted a fine chance inside the opening 10 minutes after Jordan Henderson's superb pass sent him clear on goal, with the wide man's effort saved by City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Soon after, Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina allowed Sergio Aguero's long range shot to squirm underneath his body to put Roberto Mancini's men ahead.
Yaya Toure's header from a corner soon after put the writing on the wall for the visitors before City – by this time down to 10 men following the dismissal of Gareth Barry – made it 3-0 through a James Milner penalty.
Dalglish felt the margin of scoreline flattered Manchester City but the Liverpool boss knows there are aspects the team must work on at Melwood in the coming days.
“I'm not sure the score reflects how the game went, obviously I'm not saying we deserved to win but the lesson we've learned from tonight is that if we're not clinical we're going to suffer,” said Dalglish of their fourth away defeat in the Premier League this season.
“I think there's a lot of things which happened that we can correct so we need to go and do that. We lost the first goal from the throw-in, the second goal came from a corner after we'd had a warning just seconds before that and then they went down to 10 men. Toure has then run the length of the pitch and we've given away a penalty. It's a harsh lesson but it will be even harsher if we don't learn from it.
Dalglish added: “We're not going to isolate individuals because we'll never win anything with individuals, we'll win it with a squad.
“Every single member of the squad who played there made a mistake in some way shape or form. It is how we react which is going to be important.”