Pierre-Emile Højbjerg struggled to find the words to describe the stoppage-time rollercoaster of emotions that led to Southampton’s unbeaten Premier League start to 2019 come to a cruel end.
Visitors Cardiff City had already soaked up plenty of pressure before Sol Bamba pounced to open the scoring against the run of play from a 69th minute corner at St Mary’s.
Saints continued to push and were eventually rewarded from a corner of their own, as Jack Stephens poached a timely equaliser at the far post in the first minute of added time.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side were on course to extend their unbeaten league run to six games, but instead Cardiff struck again, through substitute Kenneth Zohore, to leave Saints licking their wounds ahead of a 15-day break from competitive action.
“I’m speechless. I don’t quite know the words to put in,” lamented Saints skipper Højbjerg.
“The only thing I can say that makes sense right now is that we, as a group, as a team and as a club, need these days to get together and analyse our small mistakes and details.
“Then we’re going to improve, do better, work harder and come back as a stronger side.
“They (the coaches) prepared everything for us, we just had to put it into play. I think we did alright and in some parts of the game we created what we had to.
“You have to give credit to Cardiff for keeping believing, because in this case you have to believe until the end.
“We’re going to work on what we have to work on and come back stronger – that’s what this club is about, that’s what the players are about and that’s what the coaches are about.
“We have a big potential, but we still have to put it into excellence. This is what we will work on.”