Luka Milivojevic pulled no punches after Crystal Palace suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat for nearly two years.
The Eagles were 4-0 down by the interval and it was a repeat scoreline of the Manchester United away loss on September 30 2017.
“After a 4-0 defeat what can we say in the changing room?,” said the 28-year-old. “I am feeling very bad, no-one is happy, and we are very disappointed. No-one expects to be beaten in the first 20, 30 minutes, but they are a top side and played that (period) perfectly.
“The first shot on goal they had they scored, the second goal was bad luck for us and after 20 minutes it’s 2-0. It’s hard to come back and they kept going, scored a third goal after a counter-attack and you don’t have time to recover.
“They had possession and put us under pressure all the time, it’s true we had a bit of bad luck and we were around their box, but they deserved the three points as they were the better side – they started very sharp and were very aggressive.”
Despite the big loss, Palace managed to not concede again in the second half and, combined with a full 90 minutes from defender Mamadou Sakho, returning from injury, and a league debut from summer signing Victor Camarasa, there was some light on a dark day.
“Even when you lose 4-0 I am sure you can find positives, but of course there are a lot of negatives in the first 20, 30 minutes that we have to improve, especially when you play against top sides,” said Milivojevic, who signed a new contract in pre-season which keeps him in SE25 until 2023.
“I am happy for him [Camarasa] because he deserved to make his debut and that is positive, but for every single game you can take positives and negatives.
“At half-time it was hard [to have the team talk] but we tried to keep calm and improve for the second half as we knew we couldn’t play worse than we showed in the first half.
“We tried to be more aggressive, but it’s not easy to continue to play a game after a first half where the opposition are four goals in front. Since I have been at Palace we have had many, many games against Tottenham and they have beaten us by one goal in the last five minutes, or in the last minute, but for the first time against them we didn’t have a chance.”