Patrick Vieira believed that a lack of physicality from his Crystal Palace side in the second half led to their 4-2 defeat at Manchester City.
The Eagles took a two-goal advantage into half time at the Etihad. Vieira’s side took the early lead when Eberechie Eze’s free-kick was deflected into his own net by John Stones.
Joachim Andersen doubled Palace’s tally in the 21st minute after he was left unmarked inside the box and planted Greenwich-born Eze’s corner past Ederson.
However, four goals from Pep Guardiola’s side in the second half condemned the South Londoners to their second defeat of the 2022-23 season.
Bernardo Silva scored City’s first with a shot from outside the box that wrongfooted Vicente Guaita.
Erling Haaland then scored a hat-trick to condemn the Eagles to defeat.
“It was a good first half,” Vieira told BBCSport.
“In the first half, we defended fantastically well as a team. We were well organised, had really good, and we worked hard.
“In the second half, there was a little bit of tiredness. When they scored that first goal, it became even more difficult for us.
“Of course, there is regret, because when you’re winning 2-0, you expect to get something from the game. But we played against a fantastic team who played really well in the second half – that’s the way it goes.
“We weren’t comfortable at all at half time. We knew how good this team can be, and we didn’t want to give them any hope – it was important for us to keep defending really well.
“But physically, we dropped a little bit. When you drop physically, you’re always a little bit late on your decision making. When you create a space or gap, with the quality that they have to put the ball inside the box, they will score goals.
“It was tough in the second half, but we competed. We gave ourselves the best chance to take something from the game, but it wasn’t enough. There are a lot of positives that we can take from that game.
“Today, we knew how tough it would be. We put our sleeves up and worked well as a team, but in the second half it was a bit too much.”