Ronald Koeman felt Southampton were architects of their own downfall in their 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.
Saints fell 2-0 behind in the opening 20 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph and, although they mounted a stirring comeback effort after half-time, they ultimately fell short.
Koeman felt City’s dominance in the early stages was aided too much by errors from his own team.
"I think the start of the game was very poor, we had a lot of mistakes in our ball possession,” he said. “The first goal, and some other chances for City in the first 20 minutes, we did it by ourselves and that was very disappointing.”
Koeman was pleased, however, at how Saints responded after the interval, as Shane Long headed home shortly after the restart.
The visitors then pinned City back for a long spell, with Dušan Tadić being denied by keeper Willy Caballero in a one-on-one, before Aleksandar Kolarov netted the home side’s third against the run of play.
“How we played the second half, I expect that from the beginning of the game,” said the Southampton boss.
"If you see the difference between the first and the second half it was too big. The difference was too much.
“The second half, much better ball possession and then even by 2-0 down you can get away with a point.
“It was a big chance for Dušan at 2-1, but if you see and if you show everybody the clips in the first 20 minutes, you can't win if you play on that level.”
Koeman added: "The reaction was positive, but we have to start much better than we did.
“They had a strong start in the game, but in the first 20 minutes we lost so many balls and that's the problem.
“Then you don't have a good organisation and they have fast players and they kill you, and it was 2-0 after 25 minutes but they had chances to score more.”