(Reuters) - Norwich City boss Daniel Farke blamed individual defensive errors for his team’s dispiriting 3-0 defeat by Southampton on Friday in their first game back since the Premier League was suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After an even first half in which Norwich spurned several early chances, the Saints seized control with two goals in five minutes after the break and added another in the closing stages to heap more misery on the league’s bottom side.
The defeat left Norwich six points from safety and Farke in urgent need of a way to plug his team’s leaky defence, which has let in 55 goals in 30 league games so far this season.
“We gave away two goals in the second half too easily that were not necessary to concede,” Farke said, after Danny Ings and Stuart Armstrong put Southampton in front.
“The goals said a lot about Southampton’s quality, but also the lack of our defensive individual quality. It’s not an option to give up or be too down. As long as we have a chance, we will keep going and keep fighting.”
Nathan Redmond’s 79th minute strike was the icing on the cake for Southampton, moving them up to 13th in the table on 37 points.
“We have another eight games and what I can say is that the team looks very fit,” said manager Ralph Hasenhuettl, whose side host Arsenal on Thursday. “We have a big chance to climb a few more positions in the table if we keep playing like this.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Jane Wardell