Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl was left to lament his team’s first-half display, as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat against AFC Bournemouth.
Saints trailed 2-0 by the time the interval was reached at St Mary’s on Friday night, having also seen another Cherries goal ruled out by VAR for offside, and, despite a second-half rally, they were unable to salvage anything from the match, as a run of four games without defeat came to an end.
“The first half was too bad to get a point,” said Hasenhüttl.
“We lost this game in the first half. We haven’t showed a few of the qualities we showed in the last games.
ralph hasenhüttlwe have to keep our heads up and move forward.
“The second half was completely different. We really tried to stress them, we won nearly every second ball and 26 shots on goal in 90 minutes is also not so bad, but these stats are not so interesting.
“What’s interesting is the goals, but we couldn’t score more today, so it was not the result we wanted.”
The Saints boss continued: “We knew it would be a difficult game today and we knew Bournemouth are strong in counter-attacks.
“They didn’t have that many chances, but for the first one from the corner, we lost one duel in the centre and it’s a goal.
“We invested a lot. I think everybody saw that we tried until the last minute to turn the table, but in the end we didn’t. We have to keep our heads up and move forward.”
Reflecting on the change in shape he made at half-time, the Saints boss said: “With the three centre midfield players we were winning more second balls in the centre, they did a good job in the second half, invested a lot and were very aggressive.
“The transition offensively was sometimes good but sometimes took a little bit too long. I think we can play quicker and deeper.
“With Moussa we would’ve had another option, but I think Nathan and Sofiane did a good job, Ché tried everything and Ingsy had chances to score with a few blocked shots. But it wasn’t enough today – we have to accept it.”