Louis van Gaal believes Southampton came to Old Trafford looking for a draw and admitted a lack of chances cost Manchester United.
Van Gaal’s United team had no shots on target against the Saints in a match bereft of chances, with Radamel Falcao left out of the squad altogether.
The Dutchman told Sky Sports: "We didn’t create many chances despite dominating the game. Only in the first minute we gave them a chance, but after that we dominate without creating many chances.
"They were defending well, good organization, they came for a draw but I believe they go away with a victory. I think [Juan] Mata has three chances, he could make one of these, but you cannot change the result anymore."
Having started the last five games, Falcao was absent on Sunday, but Van Gaal insists it is merely part of a squad rotation.
"We now have a lot of players who are coming back. I have to compare players with each other, now he was out of the 18 but that’s this moment, next week is another moment," he said.
The defeat ended United’s 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League and left striker Wayne Rooney disappointed.
Rooney reckoned United had the majority of chances and deserved to win, with the goal scored against them Southampton’s only shot on target.
The England captain said: "That’s football, that’s how it goes. I think we deserved to win the game today. They had the chance in the first minute and the goal – which they’ve taken – so I think overall we had the better chances, we played the better football and deserved to win, but we’ve been punished for not taking our chances.
"I’ve seen Southampton play better to be honest. We stopped a lot of their threats, but we got punished for the goal they scored and we didn’t take our chances."