Brendan Rodgers labelled his beaten Liverpool side "absolutely magnificent" after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham, claiming they were victims of some "embarrassing" refereeing decisions.
Liverpool fell two behind early at White Hart Lane, with Aaron Lennon capitalising on a fine run from Gareth Bale, before Bale netted from a free-kick. A Bale own goal gave Liverpool hope, but they could not turn their dominance into goals.
Rodgers' men enjoyed 65 per cent of the possession in north London and had 17 attempts at goal. Steven Gerrard felt he should have had a penalty for a foul by Moussa Dembele, while Luis Suarez claimed for another against William Gallas, and Rodgers also felt Clint Dempsey dived for the free-kick that led to Spurs' winner.
"It was embarrassing to be honest. Two clear penalties, Steven Gerrard… it was bordering on assault, never mind a tackle," Rodgers told Sky Sports News. "It was frightening how we never got a penalty for that.
"Then if you watch Luis Suarez get kicked by William Gallas. And then there's what leads to their second goal, the player dives. Clint Dempsey falls over without contact. So everything went against us."
Rodgers largely preferred to focus on his own players, claiming the better team lost as Liverpool tried everything to recover from their early deficit. Defeat leaves them 12th in the table.
"I thought we were absolutely magnificent. I don't think we can come here and play any better than that," Rodgers said. "We'd have been disappointed to come here and draw the game, but to come and lose was bitterly disappointing for the players because they were fantastic.
"You see the spirit of the team [after falling 2-0 down], it was relentless and the standard of the some of our play was outstanding. My thoughts are with my players because that was a game we dominated."
In the end it was Bale's masterclass performance that proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Bale has now scored 10 goals for club and country this season - and Villas-Boas admits the biggest teams on the planet will have been alerted by the winger's form.
"Tottenham as a club want to keep him here as long as we can but we understand players like this have propositions, have market which is the nature of the game,'' the Spurs boss said.
"At the moment he's doing extremely well for Spurs and we are absolutely amazed with what he can do for us. Hopefully, we have no doubt he can become a top player in the future. He is on to a great career.''
Reina was powerless to stop the ball as it dipped and swerved in to the net for Tottenham's first and Bale nearly beat the Liverpool stopper twice more from similar range.
"Ronaldo showed you can almost hit the ball from the bottom to the top and it has an effect it changes direction,'' Villas-Boas said. "Gareth has the power to hit the ball at that pace and that's why the ball gets so many effects.''