But Johnson said: "We worked our socks off first half, we broke well and got ourselves into areas where we had shots.
"We had corners, free-kicks...so we certainly weren't just parking the bus. I thought our boys showed energy, particularly when we went 1-0 down. For a 20-minute period you may not have known who was the Premier League side.
"We passed and moved and had a good couple of chances. We felt it was a penalty, we haven't seen it (again) yet but that may have changed the game.
"They can go home, look at themselves in the mirror and say that they've competed on a massive stage in front of world-class players and world-class fans. They can enjoy the fact that they've produced their best game."
"He deserved it," claimed Johnson.
"I didn't do it because it was Anton Rodgers, he's played in the cup and the games before and he was magnificent in the game against Wolves - probably one of the best displays all season when we beat them 2-0 away.
"I wanted to go with a group that deserved to play at Anfield, he certainly deserved his minutes."