Koeman: We can only blame ourselves for Man Utd defeat

The coach was disappointed to see his side throw away a lead on Sunday and feels Maya Yoshida’s defensive error turned the game


Ronald Koeman believes Southampton were the architects of their own downfall in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

Graziano Pelle put the home side in the lead in the first half before Anthony Martial pulled United level and then netted a second, pouncing on a poor Maya Yoshida backpass.

Juan Mata extended the visitors’ lead before Pelle nodded in a second for his side, but Koeman feels the damage had been done and only his side were to blame.

“I am disappointed because in my opinion we lost by ourselves today,” he told reporters. “The first 30 minutes were perfect really in how we like to play and how we like to test our opponents.

“Details make the difference. We were unlucky on United’s first goal… I hear it was offside, but that’s what happens. Last year Jose Fonte made the mistake passing to the keeper against United and this year it was Maya.

“United were the much better team after that. Then in the last 15 minutes we got close, but two great saves from De Gea kept us out. 

“I hate players who always play the ball back to the goalkeeper. Play the ball forward because then you can put the pressure on them.

“We saw the weaknesses of Man United defensively. I always tell them don’t play it back to the goalkeeper, but I will tell them again.

“We have to learn from that, we did it last year and we did it today again. We lost it ourselves.”

The Dutch coach feels the mistake from Yoshida made a telling difference to the way both teams played.

“They had a lot of ball possession but they had difficulty finding the players between the lines. We defended well, but after the 2-1 goal we lost belief and we lost control. That was their best period of the game.

“We lost total belief and total organisation, and if you give that space to United it’s difficult, they have those players, and we know it’s difficult.

“We had to keep that belief as we showed at the end of the game.”

“I think as good as we’ve played in attack this season because every attack was dangerous. I thought Sadio Mane and Pelle were very good today.”

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