Morgan Schneiderlin felt that Saints would have been good value for all three points from Tuesday evening’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
Schneiderlin was part of the Southampton team that didn’t give the league leaders a moment’s peace at St Mary’s, as they fought hard against a Gunners side who struggled to replicate the style of play they are used to throughout the 90 minutes.
Saints particularly asserted their dominance in the first half of the game as they contained Arsenal and restricted the visitors to just one shot in the opening 45 minutes, which is why the result is slightly tarnished by the two goals conceded so quickly after half-time.
“The assessment is that we are not happy with a draw because we deserved to win that game,” Schneiderlin told reporters after the game.
“It was an amazing first half where we played very, very well and then we said in the changing room that we have to play as well as we did in the first half and Arsenal made it difficult for us by scoring two quick goals.
“In the first half we made Arsenal look like an average team and we are very happy with our performance. We need to keep going, and we can’t stop because we have good things to achieve this season.
“We played some very good football and aside from a ten minute spell where Arsenal were on top, we came back and showed a good reaction in the last 20 minutes of the game. We are pleased with the performance, but we are disappointed not to win.”
Morgan also shared his joy for José Fonte, and said that the Portuguese defender’s goal scoring display epitomised his character.
“I’m very happy for him – he’s a true professional, is José,” said Schneiderlin. “He got his header and we were all behind him. He deserved to score a second goal with a good performance where we worked hard so we’re very happy with that.
“We have the mentality back to fight for each other. We did it before but maybe we thought we had worked hard enough in the first half of the season, but games are never easy, you have to work very, very hard in each game and today we did it.”
Schneiderlin also revealed that there were no hard feelings aimed at compatriot Mathieu Flamini for the Arsenal player’s lunge on him that earned the Gunners midfielder a straight red card with ten minutes to play.
“I’m okay,” Morgan affirmed. “I don’t think he wanted to hurt me - he just lost his footing. I know him as a player and I know he didn’t want to hurt me, so I have no problem with him.”