The arrival of the captain visibly lifted Liverpool, but Rodgers defended his decision to start with the No.8 on the bench.
He explained: "I can't rely on Steven for 70 games. He's been absolutely incredible. He shouldn't be expected to have to come and win games on his own every single game.
"He came on and gave real impetus to the team. His quality was there to be seen, he hit the crossbar and gave us that real drive.
"We've got three tough games this week - starting today - and we put out a team and a group of players we felt could get a result. It wasn't complacency - it was just really disappointing play and we got punished."