Despite suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City on Saturday, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl felt his side gave their all.
Raheem Sterling’s strike on 15 minutes proved to be the difference, although Southampton enjoyed the better of the play at St Mary’s.
Suffering only a second defeat in 12 matches, the Saints boss was left to praise a performance that only lacked an equalising goal.
“I think it was a better game from our side than in the summer when we won 1-0 [against Man City]. Today we played better.
“We were braver and had a lot of pressure on them, but what was lacking today was the quality in the final third, with the final passes and final chances.
“We had a few good ones, but it was always a few inches away or where their defender was aware of the area, so it was tough to score.
Ralph HasenhüttlIt’s amazing what we play at the moment and how we play.
on his side's performance
“But I think we did the maximum we can do. It was our third game in a week, and we had one day less to recover, and the effort the guys put into the second half was unbelievable really.
“We kept them very long away from the goal, but you cannot do it all the time so they had a few chances, but this is normal.
“It’s amazing what we play at the moment and how we play. It’s always controlled and in the second half they were really defending their own box for a long time and although we didn’t find a way through, this was the highest level we can play at the moment, I think.
“It was an absolutely top game from the Premier League to be honest. We showed why we’re in third position at the moment.
“it is not a coincidence; I think it is deserved. We played against a top team and did the best we can do.”