Stuart Armstrong admitted his first Southampton goals came as no consolation after Saints were beaten at Fulham in spite of the Scot’s sharp finishing.
The attacking midfielder made his second successive Premier League start at Craven Cottage, coming either side of two impressive performances for his country, and proved his worth by opening the scoring in west London with his first goal for the club.
Back came the hosts to lead at half time, but Armstrong struck again with a stunning curling shot to level the scores, before Aleksandar Mitrovic completed a brace of his own as Claudio Ranieri celebrated an important victory in his first game in charge.
“That’s what I’ve come here to do – create and score goals,” he said.
“I’m glad I’m up and running in that sense, but I want the goals to mean something. It’s about the team getting as many points as we can.
“I feel that my match fitness is coming back – having four starts in the last couple of weeks is important for me in getting that fitness, match tempo and movement back, so that can only help going forward.
“Everyone in the changing room is disappointed with the end result after what we thought was a good team performance.
“We had a lot of possession, created some good chances and there was a good feeling about the game, so to come away with nothing is very frustrating.
“Things happen in the game that you can’t control, but for the first half an hour we were good – we were on top, we kept the ball well and we created chances.
“We felt their equaliser was against the run of play, and to let them back into the game in that fashion was disappointing.”