Southampton 0-0 Swansea: Sixth successive stalement for Saints
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 12/08/17 8:13pm
Southampton's miserable home goal drought continued as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Swansea on the opening day of the season.
There was plenty of positivity around St. Mary's ahead of a new campaign under newly-appointed manager Mauricio Pellegrino, but a sixth successive stalemate spoiled the occasion.
The Saints dominated from the first whistle to last, registering 29 shots on goal - two on target - but failed to convert their dominance against a dogged Swansea outfit.
It means nine hours and five minutes of Premier League football have passed at St Mary's since Southampton last scored - James Ward-Prowse's strike against Crystal Palace on April 5.
Virgil van Dijk was absent with a virus, as uncertainty continues to surround his Southampton future. Jan Bednarek and Mario Lemina started on the bench. Tammy Abraham made his first start in the Premier League for Swansea following his season-long loan from Chelsea, while summer signing Roque Mesa started on the bench. Gylfi Sigurdsson was left out completely.
Manolo Gabbiadini's second-minute header clipped the crossbar and Dusan Tadic fired wide two minutes later as Saints, keen to atone for failing to score in their final five home games of last season, flew out of the traps.
Tammy Abraham failed to take advantage of that reprieve, heading Wayne Routledge's cross wide on 10 minutes as Swansea stirred.
Southampton soon regained control though but failed to score as Gabbiadini's turned Tadic's cross over before Alfie Mawson and Marcus Olsson blocked Ward-Prowse's effort.
Home Team: Forster (6), Cedric (5), Stephens (5), Yoshida (5), Bertrand (8), Davis (5), Romeu (5), Ward-Prowse (6), Tadic (7), Redmond (7), Gabbiadini (6).
Subs: McQueen (n/a), Boufal (4),Austin (4).
Away Team: Fabianski (7), Naughton (5), Fernandez (5), Mawson (6), Olsson (6), Britton (6), Fer (5), Carroll (5), Routledge (5), Ayew (5), Abraham (7).
Subs: Bartley (4), Fulton (4), McBurnie (n/a).
Man of the match: Ryan Bertrand
Lukasz Fabianski pulled off a fine stop to deny Ward-Prowse's curling effort on 25 minutes before referee Mike Jones chose not to award the hosts a penalty when Federico Fernandez tripped Tadic in the area.
Maya Yoshida acrobatically volleyed wide on 37 minutes and Abraham's great swivel and shot was headed clear by Cedric Soares a minute after the restart.
Saints were soon back in charge, though, as Gabbiadini curled a shot wide on 52 minutes. But there was to be no way through for Southampton as Fabianksi denied Tadic 11 minutes from time and Yoshida headed a glorious chance over on 80 minutes.
- None of the last six Southampton managers have won their first Premier League game in charge (inc. Mauricio Pellegrino).
- Southampton have never won an opening day home fixture in the Premier League (D6 L4).
- Seven of Southampton's last nine Premier League games have been goalless at half time.
- Swansea failed to land a single shot on target, while the hosts Southampton fired in just two despite attempting 29 shots in total (inc. blocks).
Mauricio Pellegrino: We did everything to win the game. Our football was effective. But we had to score. We were playing well but sometimes in football you create chances but are not precise enough to score goals.
Paul Clement: Southampton had a massive amount of shots so I'm sure they are going to be disappointed and be thinking how they haven't won. But, at the same time, we've hung in until the very end, so, overall, I'm pleased to have come away with a point.
Man of the Match - Ryan Bertrand
One of the few bright lights in a hugely uninspiring affair. Bertrand grafted hard and combined well with Nathan Redmond to carve Swansea open down the left flank time and again.
Southampton will look to end their goal drought on Saturday when West Ham travel to St Mary's. Swansea, meanwhile, look to maintain their impressive recent record against Manchester United when they travel to the Liberty Stadium on Premier League Live.