Southampton manager Ronald Koeman felt his team paid the price for too many mistakes in the early stages in the defeat at Manchester City.
The platform for City’s 3-1 win was laid as Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph struck in the opening 20 minutes with Aleksandar Kolarov settling nerves after Shane Long pulled one back.
The Dutchman said: “It is not a question about tactics, about players or about the line-up if we make the kind of mistakes we did in the first 20 minutes.
“At least we showed in the second half that we can keep the ball and have good ball possession, but if you make those kind of mistakes, you know City can punish you.
“Maybe we were lucky to be only 2-0 after 20 minutes because we lost every ball. If you lose the ball to players like (Raheem) Sterling, you know they will punish you.”
Koeman was at least pleased with the way his side responded after falling 2-0 down.
He said: “It is important the players take the positives form the second half and then you see if we play our level, we can make it difficult to the big teams.
“We had the best chance to score (and make it) 2-2 from (Dusan) Tadic and had some other counter-attacks stopped by the referee, but 3-1 killed the game.”