Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted former club Swansea fully deserved the 3-1 victory which ended his side's defence of the Capital One Cup.
The Reds were well off the pace in the first half and trailed to Chico Flores' 33rd-minute header.
Even the introduction of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard at the interval could not prevent Swansea scoring a second on the counter-attack through Nathan Dyer and although Suarez pulled one back quickly Jonathan de Guzman scored an added-time breakaway.
"I thought the best team won. We were too slow, there was no tempo in the first half," admitted Rodgers, who left Swansea to take over from Kenny Dalglish at Anfield in June.
"It is disappointing. You can only hurt if you are the better team and I thought they were the better team.
"Swansea was bright and creative and was very good and it took the introduction of Luis and Steven to up the tempo in the second half.
"Then we looked like we could score and create chances but we couldn't get the goal.
"We got done on two breakaways but the best team won, which was clear. They took their chances very well.
"I am disappointed to be out of the competition but I don't think we can have any complaints."
Dalglish won this competition in February but even that was not enough to save him from the sack after a disappointing eighth-place league finish.
Rodgers, who made nine changes and included only three players over the age of 24, said he would use the result as experience for the future.
"I know the size of the job here so that again is another lesson for me in terms of where we are at, giving players the opportunity to come in," he added.
"We have a small squad playing in what was three competitions and I did what I have done in other games: rotated players, used fringe players and given younger players opportunity.
"That is all you can do as a manager."
Of the more experienced players on show Joe Cole, on his first start since a Europa League qualifier on August 2, was the most disappointing - being withdrawn at half-time.
"The club has invested an astronomical amount of money on a talented player and Joe had the opportunity," said Rodgers.
"He has been back fit a couple of weeks and his opportunities have been limited but you have to see.
"I thought it was difficult for him, it was too slow and it wasn't what I would expect from a team I tried to set up to be dynamic."