Di Matteo defends team selection
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo defended his team selection after his side lost 4-1 at Anfield to end their hopes of a top-four finish.
The Italian made eight changes from the side which beat the Reds in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday and it showed as they were torn apart in the first half.
A Michael Essien own goal and efforts from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger put the hosts 3-0 up inside half an hour, while Stewart Downing hit the crossbar and also missed a penalty.
Ramires pulled one back just after the break but Jonjo Shelvey restored the three-goal cushion with a long-range effort.
Although Chelsea had an outside chance of overhauling Tottenham and Newcastle prior to kick-off defeat ensures they are destined to finish sixth.
Di Matteo is now pinning his hopes on beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final a week on Saturday to qualify for Europe's elite club competition.
But he had no regrets about the team he picked at Anfield.
"I thought Liverpool were the better side. They looked inspired and they scored at the right times as well," he said.
"It wasn't the team selection. We have to give credit to them (Liverpool).
"We have played with these players the whole season and they have carried us so far and we still had a chance with two games to qualify for fourth spot.
"We were depending on other results (to make the top four) but we have needed everyone to come so far.
"We have played 37 games in the Premier League and I don't think the points we lost today which made the difference.
"We have lost many points in the whole season. You need to be objective over 37 games.
"By utilising the strength we had I thought we would be able to reach the final and still have a chance (of the top four) with two games to go.
"But you know how demanding it has been for us - we have played every three days in the last eight weeks - and I thought tonight I thought a team which was energetic and fresh mentally would give us a chance."
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was delighted with his side's performance, their biggest league win of the season on their last outing of the campaign at Anfield.
"It was an excellent performance," said the Scot.
"It was one which has been seen a few times before here but the result hasn't been as positive as that.
"The pleasing thing is the performance was matched by the result and also the fact the supporters could go away from the final match of the season here with a smile on their faces.
"We are just pleased that we have given them a performance which gave them a bit of a smile on their face."
Dalglish's side were criticised for their lacklustre first hour in the FA Cup final at Wembley but the Reds boss insisted he had no regrets about that or about their displays as a whole - particularly at home - this season.
"There's not a feeling of 'What if?'. It's a feeling of 'What a result. What a performance'.
"The last half-hour at Wembley and that performance there was a fantastic two hours of football.
"Everyone played their part. The two young boys in the middle of the pitch - Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey - were magnificent, big Andy (Carroll) was unplayable.
"Luis was fantastic for the (opening) goal but everyone played their part and the old boy at the back (Jamie Carragher) didn't do too badly."