David Moyes insists he had no regrets at going to Liverpool and shutting up shop.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp labelled Sunderland "the most defensive team" he has ever faced, the title hopefuls only breaking down the relegation battlers in the last 15 minutes.
Sub Divock Origi put Liverpool in front before James Milner beat Jordan Pickford from the penalty spot to seal the 2-0 victory which sent the Black Cats back to the bottom of the Premier League.
Moyes selected both Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe, but while it was a 4-4-2 on paper, the strikers spent a lot of the game behind the ball, alternating in the left-side channel in support of Patrick van Aanholt.
"I don't know any good teams who are not, first and foremost, defensively," said Moyes.
"If you want to win the Premier League you are going to have to have a right good defence.
"If you are to avoid relegation you are going to need to have a good defence and organisation.
"To be fair, we've not been good enough [defensively] this season.
"We've done a job here, but it's not been good enough.
"But I have to praise the lads given the opposition and the quality of players they have, we came pretty close."
Moyes pointed out that Sunderland were taking on the most potent offensive unit in the top flight.
"It was always going to be difficult job for us," said Moyes.
"Liverpool are great going forward, one of the best attacking teams in the Premier League at this present time.
"We had to make sure we did our job defensively and look to try to take our opportunities when we could."
Moyes said he had no issues with Klopp whipping up the home fans from his technical area, gesturing towards the main stand and Kop to raise the noise.
The decibel levels did rise, though the irony was that just minutes after the German's impromptu call to arms, Sunderland had the perfect opportunity to silence the red half of Merseyside.
Alas, Duncan Watmore squandered the opening, a heavy touch taking the ball to far outside keeper Loris Karius.
"The crowd is certainly with the manager, which is great for them, and he's able to influence the crowd and did so," said Moyes.
"We'd started to frustrate them for periods, they'd missed chances as well, and we've had a great opportunity for Duncan Watmore.
"We don't take it and those are the small things you need to go for us."