Mauricio Pochettino believes Liverpool’s 3-0 win at St Mary’s was an unfair result – but admitted Saints paid the price for not being clinical enough.

Goals from Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and a Steven Gerrard penalty condemned Saints to defeat against the title chasing Reds.

Saints, whose four England players all started in front of the watching Roy Hodgson, did have a few decent chances of their own, particularly in the first half, but failed to convert any of them.

Pochettino felt that was the decisive factor.

He said: “We created many chances in the first half and we deserved a lot more from that first half and it should have been a different result but we needed to be more clinical in the first half to get a different result going into the end of the half.

“We were unlucky not to score and then Sterling came on and with his first touch it was 2-0 and it was very difficult from then on to kick on and keep pushing.

“I thought overall with the team’s performance it was an unfair result but I do have to say Liverpool were a lot more clinical than we were.”

He added: “It is flattering in a way that he (Brendan Rodgers) changes his formation just to play against Southampton.

“I thought overall Southampton were dominating the entire first half and that’s why Liverpool changed their formation.

“I thought overall we were very unlucky and when you are unlucky and you are also playing against a player such as Suarez it is always going to be very difficult.

“If we had played with goals we would have won the game but we didn’t so it wasn’t to be.”