Despite controlling large periods of play in the first half at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, the Reds found themselves a goal down at the break as Stevan Jovetic opened his Premier League account for the season, with the Montenegrin and Sergio Aguero further punishing Rodgers's men after the break.
A Pablo Zabaleta own goal, forced by Rickie Lambert's close-range header that was initially brilliantly saved by Joe Hart, offered scant consolation for the visitors, but the Northern Irishman was keen to take the positives despite having lost to the side who pipped them to the title last season.
"I think, up until the 40th minute, we were the better team but we switched off in final period," he told Sky Sports.
"We didn't defend it well enough and were 1-0 down. At 2-0 it is difficult for us but, to our credit, we kept going.
"I felt we needed to be quicker in our actions in the final third, we needed to be more dynamic, but we looked a threat, which is important.
"This is a difficult place to come but we will continue to work, we'll get better - it just wasn't our night.
"There is no psychological blow; there is a long way to go. It was a tough game but we'll move on."
New signing Mario Balotelli, confirmed as a Red earlier on Monday, will soon be available after watching from the stands at the Etihad but Rodgers has fitness concerns over Glen Johnson and Alberto Moreno, both of whom picked up knocks late on.
"Glen pulled his thigh so we will assess that tomorrow," he added. "Moreno twisted his ankle so we need to see how that is. There is swelling now but we'll see how it is in the morning."