Rubén Sellés was encouraged by the way Southampton competed against Manchester City for an hour at St Mary’s, before the visitors’ quality shone through.
Saints gave as good as they got in the first half, restricting the reigning Premier League champions to half-chances before Erling Haaland broke the deadlock just seconds before the interval.
Further goals from Jack Grealish and a penalty from Álvarez either side of a spectacular second for Haaland gave the final score a one-sided look, but Sellés saw the positives in Saints’ display.
“I’m very satisfied with the performance, especially in the first 60 minutes,” the manager reflected.
“I think in the first half we showed what we wanted to do. We were a team that was brave in possession, wanted to play football but also tried to keep the opponent really low in the build-up, and I think we did it.
“I think they didn’t find a lot of escapes, and it was just that action in the end in the minute 44 that was the result of individual quality.
“We always try to work hard during the week, always try to get the very best for us, sometimes you can see it for you on the pitch, sometimes not.
“I think in the first half you can see exactly what we want to do, and also in the first part of the second half.
“We came back in the second half, trying to put in the same effort and the same performance, and unfortunately when we conceded the second goal everything went a little bit.”