Claude Puel praised Manolo Gabbiadini for his performance in Southampton’s EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester United.
Gabbiadini scored twice, as Saints were edged out by José Mourinho’s side, but controversially saw an early strike incorrectly disallowed for offside.
Puel was quick to praise his striker, who he felt was the best player on the pitch.
“He scored three goals and was the best player of the final,” said Puel.
“He was better than Ibrahimovic. Both players know how important it is to score goals.
“He’s now scored five goals in three games, it should be six of course, and it’s fantastic for him and for the team.
“He is helping us to be more clinical. It’s important for the team to keep this spirit, with the same attitude.
“We need to make sure that we take our chances in the Premier League now.”