Southampton manager Claude Puel expressed his disappointment at falling behind early against Chelsea following his side's 2-0 loss to the Blues on Sunday.
Goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa brought the Saints' unbeaten stretch to a grinding halt on an afternoon when they struggled to break down Antonio Conte's well-organised outfit.
However, Puel admitted he was unhappy with conceding after just six minutes as Hazard's run went untracked, allowing him to slip past Steven Davis and convert beyond Fraser Forster.
"We conceded a goal after just a few minutes and [that makes it] very difficult against this team as they can stay behind with a good block and play on the counter-attack," Puel said. "We weren't clinical enough today and against this team it's difficult.
"They can do the damage with all these good players. It's a pity for my players because we tried to play good football and we had some chances and against Chelsea it's important not to concede an early goal. But that's life."
The Frenchman also admitted it was difficult for his attacking players to show invention when faced with Chelsea's well-drilled defensive barrier comprised of three centre-halves and two wing-backs.
"It was very hard - they defended very well every time," Puel said. "It's difficult to play against this team, because they have a good counter-attack and they are good defensively. We tried, but it was difficult to find a solution. Against great players it's difficult."