David Moyes rued a missed opportunity for his rock-bottom Sunderland side as they collapsed to a 4-0 defeat at home to Southampton on Saturday.
Sunderland battered Premier League relegation rivals Crystal Palace by the same scoreline last weekend and started with plenty of intent at the Stadium of Light.
However, Manolo Gabbiadini struck twice in the first half to leave Sunderland stunned, before an own goal from Jason Denayer and a Shane Long strike late on piled on the misery.
The Black Cats would have moved out of the bottom three with a win and Moyes was disappointed with his side’s defending as a chance to pick up precious points went astray.
“We didn’t play well, not as well as last week. We made some defensive mistakes,” he told BBC Sport.
“We had a great chance to maybe move out of the bottom three had the games gone for us, but unfortunately it didn’t fall for us. Southampton themselves had fragile confidence, but they got a goal off their centre-forward’s arm.
“We played okay without creating too many clear-cut opportunities, and the more attacking changes we made the worse we became. Southampton have this season mostly been very good, and they’re certainly a very good passing team.
“This is a game gone and the games are running out. We have to win some if we have a hope of staying up, simple as that.”
Gabbiadini became just the second Saints player to score in his first two Premier League matches after netting on his debut last week and took his tally to six in five games dating back to his time at Napoli.
And boss Claude Puel, whose side ended a run of three losses in all competitions, revelled in the striker’s impact and the quality of Saints’ play.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 11, 2017
“First of all, [the match] was about the clean sheet. We showed a very good spirit and attitude in a difficult game,” said Puel.
“It was a good team performance showing plenty of confidence and quality.
“Manolo Gabbiadini has goals in his first two games – he’s a striker, a technical player of quality who can finish well. It’s great for us, and as a team it’s now important to continue this work.”
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