Mats Hummels said Borussia Dortmund would have to stomach the criticism after a 4-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig that he felt was particularly harsh.
There was evidence to back up defender Hummels' verdict, with Opta data showing Leipzig only shaded the game 0.79 to 1.24 in terms of expected goals (xG), which is a measure of the quality of a team's chances.
Dortmund had 63.8 per cent of possession, and both teams had 10 shots, but Leipzig were far more clinical with the chances that fell their way.
Indeed, 10 shots is the fewest needed by any team to score four goals in a Bundesliga game this season.
It added up to a desperate day for Dortmund, who were playing inside a full home stadium for the first time since the pandemic hit after restrictions were relaxed in Germany.
In-demand striker Erling Haaland, who played the full game, had only one shot and was largely peripheral.
"That's disappointing for us," Hummels said of the result. "We had a lot planned for the crowd here today. The first time with over 80,000 after two years.
"That was a victory for Leipzig today in terms of effectiveness and the exploitation of chances. It was by no means a 4-1 game in terms of performance ratios, but we have to live with the fact that we are criticised for the result because that's the way it is in football.
"I think the people of Leipzig know that things could have gone very differently in the first half. In the end, it's goals that count in football."
Christopher Nkunku, fresh from winning his first two caps for France, scored one and assisted two of Leipzig goals.
He now has 16 goals for the season and 11 assists, which are both team highs.
Leipzig have won more points (26) and have a better goal difference (plus 22) than any other side in the second half of the Bundesliga season, and they sit fourth, three points clear of a Freiburg side that lost at home to leaders Bayern Munich.
Dortmund head coach Marco Rose felt Leipzig said his team, who remain second in the table but nine points behind Bayern, "didn't defend well enough".
"Offensively, we didn't finish the attacks enough and thus gave Leipzig opportunities to counter-attack again and again," Rose said. "We have to work on that."
Leipzig boss Domenico Tedesco, quoted on the Bundesliga website, said: "Winning 4-1 in Dortmund is not something that can be taken for granted.
"We played with discipline, won the ball a lot and in the end we deserved a win. We played well on the counter-attack too, so we could have scored one or two more goals in the second half."