James Ward-Prowse admitted the way Southampton started and finished the first half killed their hopes of getting a positive result against Manchester City at St Mary’s.
Saints were behind inside ten minutes when David Silva converted namesake Bernardo’s cutback, by which time the goalscorer had already been denied by a fine save from Alex McCarthy.
Saints responded well and deservedly drew level through Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, but succumbed to two goals in the dying minutes of the first half that ultimately decided the game, before skipper Højbjerg was dismissed late on.
“It’s a disappointing result, obviously. I think we started the game poorly and didn’t quite get into the flow of the game,” Ward-Prowse said.
“I think we showed glimpses in the first half of what we’ve been working on as a team, pressing high, and the goal came from that.
“I felt we were right in it, but two unlucky, sloppy goals at the end of the first half killed the game.
“When you give a team like that those sorts of opportunities and chances, they’re going to run away with it, which they did.”
With the scores level and half time approaching, Ward-Prowse was denied a penalty when he was nudged by City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko in the box, before cruelly deflecting Raheem Sterling’s low cross past McCarthy just moments later.
“I was disappointed not to get it,” he said of the spot-kick. “It was a good ball from Jack (Stephens) and I knew that if I took my first touch across him I could get into the box.
“When there was contact and it’s impeding my chances of scoring, I had to go down.
“The referee says there was contact but didn’t give the penalty, which didn’t make any sense. He’d have to book me for simulation, which he didn’t, so no decision was made.”