Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal could not cope with Southampton’s physicality after his side were beaten 4-0 at St Mary’s.
Arsenal would have gone top of the Premier League with a win on the South Coast, but a stunner from Cuco Martina, as well as a brace from Shane Long and Jose Fonte’s header condemned the North Londoners to a heavy defeat.
And Wenger praised the hosts, although felt refereeing decisions went against his team.
“We lost too many challenges, they were sharper than us and we were a bit unlucky as well,” he said.
“I think the first goal was the first shot on goal and it found the top corner and I think the second goal was a foul on (Laurent) Koscielny, but the ref didn’t see it and after that we were exposed on the counter-attack.
“It’s a disappointing result, but you have to say well done Southampton.
“Many challenges we were second best, but the referee let a lot go as well and when you are not dominant that’s the kind of price you have to pay.
Many would have expected Arsenal to go top after leaders Leicester City were beaten at Liverpool.
However, the surprising nature of this season’s Premier League shows no sign of changing and Wenger admits it will come down to which team can put a run of results together.
“I’ve said many times, it’s down to consistency to fight in every single game and find the resources to produce a top-level performance in every single game,” he told BT Sport.
“Today was a very, very, very physical game and you could see this team, they tried for life and when they scored the first goal you could see it was going to be a very difficult game.”