Oriol Romeu couldn’t hide his disappointment as Southampton were beaten late on by Manchester United in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.
Romeu felt Saints had put themselves back on course for glory after coming back from 2-0 down to draw level against United, only for Zlatan Ibrahimović's late winner to condemn Claude Puel’s men to a heart-breaking defeat.
The Spaniard was among those who went close to putting Saints in front after heading an effort against the post at 2-2 but praised the team for a spirited performance to get back into the game.
“It’s a hard feeling,” he said afterwards.
“It is difficult to say something positive to be honest because no-one wants to lose a final, and no-one wants to lose in the last minute.
“Looking at how the game has gone I think we had a tough moment when we were 2-0 down but as a team we did amazing to come back and still playing with our philosophy and with our style of football, playing between the lines and creating chances.
“That’s what we wanted to do and playing in that way we also had a couple of opportunities to get a third goal. It didn’t come then we didn’t score and suddenly they did and in the final few minutes they were clinical.”
Saints trailed 2-0 in the first half before scoring on the stroke of half time to get back into the contest, and Romeu felt that was going to be the turning point in the game.
“At 2-0 down was a tough moment, but we were doing what we had wanted to do since the first minute and to score that goal just before half time was the right moment to score it,” he said.
“We came back with a good start to the second half and scored straightaway so we were there fighting for the game, fighting for the final.
“We had two or three chances on the counter-attack which would have made a massive difference if we could have scored, but we didn’t.”