Ralph Hasenhüttl felt his side deserved better after Southampton slipped to a controversial 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa at St Mary’s.
Saints were denied a penalty early on, when Stuart Armstrong’s shot clearly struck Matty Cash’s outstretched arm, before seeing two goals ruled out – one for a foul on goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, and another for a marginal offside decision.
The offside to rule out Danny Ings’s stoppage-time leveller was a bitter pill to swallow on a night when Saints had 20 shots, but were ultimately beaten by Ross Barkley’s first-half header.
“It’s very tough,” Hasenhüttl said. “I don’t think we deserved to lose today, but we have, which is very disappointing.
“They told me it’s a clear goal if it doesn’t hit him on the hand. That situation can be decisive for the game. I haven’t seen it so far, but they told me it is a clear handball.
“Also the goal from Ingsy – whether you put the line here or here is offside or on, so this is strange, but I don’t want to discuss the VAR.
“Normally I’m a big friend of the VAR – sometimes it hurts you and sometimes it’s good for you, but today it’s not for us.
“It’s a pity, but I think we played a good game today. We tried everything and the guys are very disappointed because they deserved more.
“It’s always frustrating when you give them one chance and they score. They played in a fantastic way for this one goal, but that’s it.
“It’s definitely not so easy when the opponent is sitting deep after the first goal. As I say, the first goal can be decisive, because you can get more space and have more counter-attacks to score more goals.
“We are a little bit unlucky in the final third at the moment. Twenty shots and only five on the target is not enough – I think we can do it better.”
To compound matters, Hasenhüttl lost Ibrahima Diallo, Theo Walcott and Oriol Romeu to injuries in the second half, with all three of his substitutions forced upon the manager.
“Like always, they are muscle injuries,” he added. “This is strange and what’s worrying me the most, to be honest, that as soon as players are coming back, others are out.
“We are having a really bad run at the moment. We must have a look at what is the reason, because it’s strange.”