Ralph Hasenhüttl believes Southampton can be proud of the way they competed for 75 minutes against the team he rates as the best in the Premier League, but admits his side ultimately came up short in both boxes.
Saints’ Emirates FA Cup journey came to an end at the quarter-final stage as Man City scored twice in the final 15 minutes to give the scoreline a harshly one-sided look.
Adam Armstrong hit the post shortly before Raheem Sterling’s opener, while Ché Adams also came close just before Phil Foden scored City’s killer third.
In between times, Saints equalised through Aymeric Laporte’s own goal on the stroke of half time, before conceding a soft penalty converted by Kevin De Bruyne on 62 minutes.
“Every defeat is tough to take, but I must say I think we did a really good job today for a long time, but not long enough and not clinical enough in the defence and in the offense, and this was the difference between the two teams today,” Hasenhüttl reflected.
“It was against the ball maybe our best game this season against them – the away game was also good, but the home game when we drew was not as good as today.
“We have been really, really intense in the game – a lot of sprints against the ball, but that’s what you have to do against City.
“Normally you should be able to do it for 90 minutes, with the five subs that we have, but we couldn’t keep it (the intensity) high and this is what is a little bit disappointing for me.
“The intensity after the two subs was not the same as before, and in the end they took their chances, and if you give them such an easy penalty you cannot wonder why you lose.
“We had chances after the second goal to make the equaliser – a big chance from Ché that must be a goal.
“It (the third City goal) was 75 minutes, and until that moment I think we have seen a very tight game but we didn’t make it through.
“It was a tough draw for us here against the best team in the league, but I think we can be proud of the way we played today.”