RALPH Hasenhuttl admitted Saints were a “nice opponent” in the second half against “nasty” Leeds United.

The St Mary’s boss saw his side capitulate after a 3-0 defeat at Elland Road with second-half goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha giving Marcelo Bielsa’s side a comfortable triumph.

Defeat left Saints 14th in the Premier League table – eight points clear of the bottom three.

And Hasenhuttl admitted his side gave Leeds the spoils too easily in a disappointing second period.

He said: “We still had chances after the second goal but the last pass, it’s tough to create something against them.

“They were very clever, they always stopped our counter-attacks with a simple foul in the midfield – that stops everything.

“They do it very smart and they have been nasty. We haven’t been in the second half.

“We have been nasty in the first half – in the second half we have been a nice opponent who delivers them chances and gave them the three points very easy.”

Another factor which seemed to cause a problem for both sides was the pitch in west Yorkshire, with both teams’ players losing their footing.

“It was both teams difficult,” said Hasenhuttl.

“Maybe they are a little bit more used to it here and they know they have to flick the ball more. It’s hard to turn on this pitch.

“But they adapted better than we do and so they deserved to win.”