Ralph Hasenhüttl feels his side were ‘far away’ from producing their best performance after suffering a 4-1 Premier League defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
Despite a bright start from Saints, two quick-fire goals from Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount put the visitors in the driving seat.
Danny Ings reduced arrears, but an action-packed first-half concluded when N’Golo Kanté’s deflected strike made the scoreline 3-1. Michy Batshuayi added a fourth late on to round off a forgettable afternoon for Saints.
“We saw a very, very strong side from Chelsea and not so from us,” Hasenhüttl reflected.
“To be honest it was a little disappointing that it began with them getting a goal from their first chance. It’s too easy. If you’re one-nil down against such a team they get self-confidence but until that moment it was okay.
“We were aggressive and tried to battle with them but they showed us in every moment how much quality they have.
"This was not an easy afternoon for us and we know that if we want to compete with them we need the highest performance and at the moment we are far away from that.”
Looking to bounce back from defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, Saints began on the front foot and almost took the lead inside the first minute when Nathan Redmond fired narrowly over.
However, Ings’ strike only transpired to be a consolation, leaving Hasenhüttl frustrated with his side’s home form.
“The first chance was from Reddie [Nathan Redmond] but like always, to take the lead one time at home didn’t happen – that’s four games – which isn’t nice.
“Today we wanted to take more risks. Against the other teams we were a bit more passive so what I think is absolutely necessary is to find quicker decisions and have a quicker mind after we win the ball to create something.
“You don’t have a lot of time to have the mind organised. We had a few chances also in the first half but it’s about the result and it finished 4-1 for Chelsea.”