Mauricio Pellegrino felt Southampton could have earned a point after their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Having called upon his side to respond to their midweek defeat to Leicester, Saints put in a battling display but were undone by Marcos Alonso’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
“In some moments, we were strong. We defended with personality and we counter-attacked with spirit. Our idea was to be in the game until the end,” Pellegrino reflected.
“When we made the changes, we created a couple of chances and I think we were there. We were really close to a draw in this game.
“I changed the position of Nathan at half-time a little bit and after we changed again with Sofiane and Charlie coming on because it was difficult to arrive in wide areas with their three defenders and two wing-backs. They move the ball with tempo.
“They want to open the corridor in the middle. It wasn’t easy to defend the open play from them.
“In general, we competed well and we were in the game until the end.”