Ronald Koeman admitted Toby Alderweireld coming off injured was the difference between Southampton and Arsenal, who won 1-0 at the Emirates.
Saints had made all three substitutions before Alderweireld had to come off with injury, and the hosts took advantage when Alexis Sanchez scored two minutes from time to win the game for Arsene Wenger’s side.
But Koeman was proud of the effort of his players and believed, despite defeat, they showed the right sort of reaction following the loss to Manchester City on Sunday.
Speaking to youtube.com/southamptonfc, Koeman said: “I think we had a good reaction after last Sunday. Our ball possession was much better, we controlled the game and I think we had some good opportunities.
“I think the best was in the first half for Graziano [Pellè]. After one hour it was more difficult but Fraser [Forster] was outstanding in the second half, he was the difference.
“After that, we was unlucky after our third change in the team because we had to change Toby [Alderweireld] and we had to continue with ten.
“In my opinion, that was the difference between Arsenal and us today. There are different ways to lose, we are disappointed about the final result but it was a different way to lose the game than last Sunday.
“I was proud of the spirit we showed, the reaction after last game. We played good football and we created some good opportunities but it wasn’t enough. We were really unlucky.”
Koeman reserved praise for Forster, who made a string of terrific saves to keep the scores level up until Sanchez’s late strike, and felt if it had stayed 11 v 11, Saints would have got something from the game.
“He did everything to have a clean sheet today,” Koeman added. “But we had to change Toby and it was 11 against ten and that gave Arsenal the motivation to carry on and to have the confidence.
“That was the difference, before that I think they didn’t press what they normally do, they were a little bit afraid about us and we dominated. But after ten against 11, it was the difference.”
Jack Cork joined Alderweireld in coming off injured during the game, and Koeman added he will have to wait until Thursday to learn the extent of their injuries.
“Jack is the same ankle as last season, we have to wait until tomorrow to know something more. Toby is hamstring, for how long I don’t know,” he concluded.