Mauricio Pellegrino declared his pride in his players after Southampton pushed runaway Premier League leaders Man City to their limits at the Etihad Stadium.
Saints proved a tough nut to crack for the table-toppers, who were unable to break the deadlock until after half-time.
Oriol Romeu cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected free kick to leave Saints on the verge of ending City’s 18-match winning run, only for Raheem Sterling to score in the last minute of added time to extend the sequence.
“All of us are disappointed in the dressing room because I think we did a really, really hard job for 95 minutes,” Pellegrino said.
“In one small detail they scored the goal that made the difference.
“It’s part of our job and part of our life. We can be proud of how we played and how we suffered, because we were really competitive.
“That’s something that is one of my goals with this club – to be really competitive regardless of the opponent or the pitch.
“This is something completely different to having players with quality.
“To be competitive is about spirit and about character, which is what we had and I am really proud of my players.”