Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City's 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Sunday told the story of their Premier League season.
Just three days after thrashing champions Liverpool 4-0 in a stunning response to the failure of their title defence, City could find no way past Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
McCarthy made a series of superb saves, while Che Adams pounced on an Oleksandr Zinchenko error to score from 40 yards and pinch the points for Southampton.
The result – a third consecutive away league defeat – left City 23 points behind Liverpool again, with manager Guardiola bemused as he reflected on a largely positive display.
"It was a little bit our season," the Spanish boss said. "We played really well but allowed mistakes in our box and they punished us a lot.
"Afterwards, we created a lot and we could not score. It was a little bit today resuming what happened this season in the Premier League.
"We must improve, but in terms of performance, in terms of the way we played, there's nothing to say. We attacked incredibly well and had 10 guys in the box.
"They scored a goal and they had one chance at the end, but no more than this. We played really, really well."
Reflecting on the season, Guardiola added: "This season, in the Premier League, we've lost a lot of games - but not for a lack of [good] games.
"In general, I think we've played really well in most of the games. But when you have 20 shots and 10 players in the box, you have to score goals.
"When one team has a lot of chances and they beat us and we don't create enough chances, it can happen. But it happened very few times in all competitions.
"We create a lot, but we struggle. In a few they do, they score a goal. We do a lot and we cannot score."
But Guardiola was hopeful City could take a lesson from their setbacks as they prepare for key FA Cup and Champions League ties against Arsenal and Real Madrid respectively.
"Maybe it's going to help us, this situation, to arrive in key moments a little bit better," he said. "But we have to get better.
"The first goal in Chelsea [a 2-1 defeat] was our present to them. In a lot of games, always we give them a chance. When an opponent does a good thing and scores a good goal, it's okay. But that didn't happen."