Captain Michael Vaughan said England "didn't bat well enough and didn't catch well enough" against Australia as they crashed to a 239-run defeat.
"We didn't give ourselves enough opportunities to bowl them out for a target we could have chased," he said.
"They were outstanding - we just didn't play well enough. Only Kevin Pietersen, on debut, was outstanding."
Of six dropped catches, he said: "It's happened before; it's disappointing for it to happen again with a young team."
Australia escaped from 100-3 to reach 384 in their second innings, leaving England requiring a record 420 to win.
And Vaughan added: "We created opportunities, we just weren't good enough to take those opportunites in the field and it cost us against a good team."
For his part, Kevin Pietersen - only the third England player to score two half-centuries on his Lord's debut, and the eighth at any venue - was in buoyant mood despite defeat.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed it," he said. "I said beforehand I wanted to go out and enjoy it and that is what I did.
"I didn't put too much pressure on myself because this a great Australia side and they showed how good they are when they click, as they have over the last four days.
"But the atmosphere, the intensity, the pressure and the expectation have been fantastic. It has been a good four days for me."