But the result could have been a lot worse after they recovered from 2-0 down to get something from the game.
The Reds had fallen behind from a Andreas Weimann strike and a Christian Benteke header, before fighting back with a great Daniel Sturridge dinked effort and a controversial Steven Gerrard penalty.
Below are player ratings from the match:
Simon Mignolet 6/10 - Saved well from Ashley Westwood's drive around the 15 minute mark. No chance with Weimann's goal, but flapped at Agbonlahor's cross for Villa's second.
Glen Johnson 6/10 - Couldn't keep up with Agbonlahor down the right while the Villa man was on the field, and failed to venture forward as much as is used to once he departed.
Martin Skrtel 6/10 - Not his best game, though the entire defence struggled against the power of Benteke and the pace of Agbonlahor and Weimann. Was a more imposing defender after the break, when Grant Holt was a more manageable opponent.
Kolo Toure 5.5/10 - Got shown up against Agbonlahor for the first Villa goal, and lost Benteke for Villa's second. Not a good day for the former Manchester City man, and it's a surprise Rodgers perseveres with him.
Aly Cissoko 5.5/10 - Struggled down the left, both defensively and offensively. Had one abysmal shot from inside the box that disgusted the crowd and his teammates.
Raheem Sterling 6.5/10 - One of the more direct and threatening Liverpool players, drawing a booking for a foul by Ciaran Clark and stretching the defence regularly. Had a much more positive impact on the game than Coutinho on the other wing.
Steven Gerrard 5.5/10 - Looked off the pace for the Reds, giving the ball away once in the opening twenty minutes that led to a goalscoring chance for Villa. He also lost Weimann for the Villa goal. Great pass to Suarez for the penalty, which he then converted. Really struggled in the defensive role Rodgers played him in.
Jordan Henderson 6/10 - Anonymous for much of the first half as Villa's counter attacking style bypassed the midfield. But produced an outstanding back heel to set up Sturridge's goal and was improved for much of the second half.
Philipe Coutinho 5.5/10 - Was a long way off his creative self as he struggled to get into the game. Withdrawn for Lucas after half time.
Luis Suarez 7/10 - Spent most of the first half on the deck after a series of innocuous looking challenges on him. Was still full of energy and determination to get Liverpool into the game, despite lacking his usual direct impact on the game. Looked like a soft penalty decision too as Guzan made little contact with the Uruguayan, but was a great run to receive Gerrard's ball in such a dangerous position.
Daniel Sturridge 6.5/10 - Showed his pace and agility with a neat turn to get on the end of Henderson's flick and make it 1-2. Didn't have so many other scoring opportunities of note.
Lucas 45' 6/10 - Gave the midfield a much stronger shape once he came on, but only lasted 20 minutes before a knee injury forced him off.
Allen 66' 6/10 - Wasn't the ideal player to come on after Lucas' introduction had stabilised the Liverpool midfield. This wasn't going to be a match where his slick short passing ability would be of much use, and so it proved as he had little impact on the game.