Mauricio Pochettino does not blame Gary Cahill, John Terry, nor Demba Ba - the three Chelsea goal-scorers in the Stamford Bridge side's home victory over visiting Southampton on Sunday, December 1 - for the manner in which he and his Saints return to the South Coast empty-handed.
It all started so well for Southampton as the surprise Premier League package of the season thus far registered an early goal courtesy of Jay Rodriguez and, in Pochettino's own words, enjoyed a competitive and even first half. However, the root of their undoing was because of one-sided refereering, he implied.
'We went ahead very early and I thought it was very even in the first half,' Pochettino is quoted to have said by the club's official website. 'In the second half, I think we were doing well and controlling the game before the goals so I am angry with the end result because there were many decisions in the second half that didn't go our way. We are quite upset about that.'
He added: 'I think the deciding factor was that the decisions were not going our way – and the person making those decisions were wearing neither red or blue. Overall we are frustrated and disappointed with the result.'
From a club who appeared to threaten the monopoly that the traditional top four sides have on those respective places, Southampton have now lost two on the trot, have plummeted to seventh in the Premier League table and continue to tackle daunting fixtures ahead as they host Aston Villa on Wednesday, Manchester City on Saturday, before a trip to Newcastle United and a hosting of Tottenham Hotspur all before Christmas.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald