Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says his team was doing well before Tottenham Hotspur took the lead in Sunday's 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.
The Red Devils were outclassed by the hosts as they suffered their ninth defeat of the season.
They are now four points from fourth-placed Manchester City with Liverpool also putting pressure on United ahead of the last six games of the season.
"Until the first goal we were at least the equal team," van Gaal told BBC Sport.
"The better chance was for us with Anthony Martial, a big chance. We give the first goal away, a miscommunication and then in five minutes we were out of the game.
"The second goal is a set play and our best header loses the duel. It was a fantastic header from Alderweireld. It cannot happen. But it happened.
"Why did Ashley Young go up front? I want more running in behind because in the first half we didn't have an attacking point. That was the reason.
"Every team can lose to everybody so we are still in the race. Of course when you lose a game you have to close the gap again and that is more difficult.
"Tottenham is a great team, I said that in advance of this match. But at 0-0 we were playing well and had a big chance. 3-0 is a big negative result but until we conceded it was good."