Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admits Liverpool were just too good for his side but remains happy with what they have achieved this season.
Saints went down 2-1 to Jurgen Klopp’s side at St Mary’s as Liverpool gave themselves hope of overhauling Manchester City on Sunday. Victory for the Reds over Wolves coupled with a City loss to Aston Villa will see the Merseysiders crowned champions. Southampton sit 15th but have long been safe from any threat of relegation.
But they gave the Anfield outfit a scare on Tuesday night. Nathan Redmond gave the hosts a 13th-minute lead with a right-foot shot.
However, the Champions League finalists were level on 27 minutes through Takumi Minamino. The Japan international fired home against the side he spent time on loan with last term.
And Joel Matip notched the winner midway through the second period, with a looping header over Alex McCarthy. Hasenhuttl was delighted with his side’s effort but conceded they were up against a quality outfit.
“We tried our maximum today. The second goal we conceded was a little but frustrating. It was not really necessary to concede in that moment,” he told BBC Sport. “They didn’t have a lot of chances in the second half but you can see the quality they have.
“We had the perfect start with the first goal. It was a beautiful goal for the equaliser.”
And the Austrian tactician felt they might have come away with something to show for their efforts.
“In the end they defended a little deep and we had a few moments we could have maybe scored,” he added. “We tried our best, made it as tough as possible for them but in the end it was enough for them. It is not easy to surprise them but we tried our best.”
Hasenhuttl happy to prove people wrong
Southampton finished 15th in the standings in 2020-2021 and they will repeat the dose this term. But, tipped as a team to struggle before a ball had been kicked, Hasenhuttl is proud of what they have achieved.
“Like always a lot of ups and downs. We had the 40 points relatively early to stay in the league but couldn’t manage again to be higher,” he continued.
“We must not forget that before this season they had us on the list to be relegated because we lost our best striker. We have a lot of things to do in the summer.”