Roberto Di Matteo insisted he had 'no regrets' after watching his much-changed Chelsea side beaten 4-1 by Liverpool at Anfield to end their hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League.
The Blues must now beat Bayern Munich in the final of the UEFA Champions League on 19th May if they are to qualify for a 10th successive season in Europe's elite competition.
Just days after triumphing against the Reds in the FA Cup final at Wembley, Di Matteo's men appeared to be suffering something of a hangover as they were second best throughout the contest on Merseyside.
John Terry endured a night to forget as his slip allowed Jordan Henderson in to score soon after Michael Essien had diverted Luis Suarez's cut-back into his own net, with Daniel Agger making it 3-0 before the break.
Stewart Downing missed from the spot on the stroke of half-time before Ramires pulled one back for the Blues, only for Jonjo Shelvey to complete the scoring with an assured fourth after Ross Turnbull's fluffed clearance.
Di Matteo defended his team selection and insisted his players will be looking to end their domestic season on a high against relegated Blackburn at Stamford Bridge on Sunday before travelling to Munich for their continental showdown.
He told Sky Sports: "We have come so far because we have used all the energy and players we have in the squad.
"That was the only way to still be in the race for fourth spot until now and have qualified for two finals.
"I have no regrets. We found a very inspired Liverpool side tonight. I think Liverpool were better tonight.
"They scored at the right time, we hit the post before they scored which could have changed the game and hit the bar, but they deserved to win, they were the better side.
"We have had very intense games, with the last one three days ago. We have played every three days since I have been in charge and it has been a big ask, a big demand on everybody.
"I thought that with fresh legs and new energy in the team we could have had a better chance. We have had 37 games to rack up points, not just tonight.
"We want to finish our last game well to go into the final with a positive mood."