Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino said his team just weren’t up to the challenge in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at St Mary’s.
Roberto Firmino put the Reds into the lead in just the sixth minute, before Mohamed Salah added to his impressive tally with a 42nd-minute strike.
“It was a pity to concede so early after a mistake like this,” Pellegrino said. “You have to be perfect against teams like Liverpool.
“We reacted well, playing our best football of the afternoon following the goal and had a couple of clear chances to score.
“After the second goal, it was very difficult for us to bounce back and come out again stronger for the second half.
“We have lost against an excellent team but our character after the break needed to be different.
“It’s disappointing because this was a very important game coming at the end of a period of six or seven weeks in which we’ve been improving.
“The most important thing is to react on the pitch and not focus on where we are in the table or anything off the field. We have to think one game at a time and keep going. We have to be strong in character, show our spirit and be patient in our approach.”