Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew admitted his side deserved to lose to Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
A howler from goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey gifted Villa the win, but Pardew conceded his side never did enough to deserve anything from the game.
"This was a tough night for us," he said. "We've come across Villa at a bad time in terms of the energy and commitment they showed tonight.
"It was well above their recent performances and they deserved the victory.
"But for us, we looked short of energy tonight, cohesion - a little bit - and I think maybe the fact that our offensive players are all really struggling to come back to full fitness has showed up tonight.
"We've been getting a away with it a bit but tonight we didn't. Fair play to them. They've regrouped, got themselves together and they worked really hard.
"I thought Ayew was the best player on the pitch. He caused us problems most of the evening and they deserve it. Sometimes you fall upon some Premier League teams at the wrong time and we certainly did tonight.
He added: "Losing Yala [Bolasie] was a blow, but Connor was injured - at least he's got some minutes tonight.
"It's hurting the opposition, and we didn't do enough of that."
Up next for Crystal Palace in their quest to score a Premier League goal is a tough away trip to Manchester City.