Southampton lost at home for the first time this season to Chelsea, and their manager Claude Puel was disappointed with the defeat, but has called Chelsea a great team.
Puel said: “It’s a disappointment. We played a great team, of course, but it’s hard to take a goal so quickly, in their first action of the game.
“This changed the profile of the game, because after that it was easier for them to play their game, to stay strong behind, with good blocks, and after that to take spaces and make counter-attacks.
“We tried to play a good game, but this team was very clinical today and scored two goals with few chances. We tried to get back, but we left spaces.”
Reflecting further on the early goal, which was later followed by a superb Diego Costa strike, Puel added: “It was very hard. They defended very well every time.
“It’s difficult to play against this team, because they have a good counter-attack and they are good defensively. We tried, but it was difficult to find a solution. Against great players it’s difficult.”