Southampton boss Puel rues unfortunate Inter defeat

Jay Rodriguez was among the Saints players to see chances come and go in a narrow Europa League defeat at the San Siro

Southampton boss Claude Puel was left to rue what could have been after a series of missed chances cost his side in a 1-0 Europa League defeat at the hands of 10-man Inter Milan.

The visitors dominated for long periods at the San Siro, with Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin, James Ward-Prowse, Cuco Martina and Virgil van Dijk all going close.

Saints follow San Siro trend

Inter, in contrast, created very little, but Antonio Candreva’s fine 67th-minute goal ultimately proved enough to condemn the Premier League side to their first defeat in Group K.

The hosts also managed to successfully negotiate the final 13 minutes a man down after Marcelo Brozovic collected a second yellow card, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic pulling off a string of fine saves to preserve Inter’s lead.

“It is very hard to lose this game because we have had control of the game the whole time,” said Puel. “I think we are unlucky because we played a very good game with quality and had many, many, chances and it is a big disappointment.
“My players gave a good performance, but now we need to recover and think about the Premier League. For the moment, though, it is hard and disappointing for this club.”

Puel’s sentiments were echoed by club skipper Van Dijk, who drew a stunning save from Handanovic late in the game having latched on to a James Ward-Prowse free-kick.

Inter prevail over Saints

“It is very tough,” he said. “We were the team that deserved it most. You can see the goal was their only chance and it is frustrating. We should have buried the game in the first half. There was only one team who deserved to win, but in the end that is football. 

“I am a winner. I want to win and when you see things not go well it was frustrating. I had a big chance and was unlucky and as well with the header, but we should have finished the game in the first half. We had so many opportunities to win the game, but now we need to move on, recover well and be ready for Manchester City [on Sunday].”