Leicester 0-0 Southampton: Champions held as visitors dictate
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 02/10/16 6:09pm
Leicester's stuttering defence of their Premier League title goes on after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton.
The visitors had the best chances at the King Power Stadium and dictated play at times, with Charlie Austin hitting the post in the first half.
Indeed, Claude Puel's men will have been frustrated at not taking all three points from a lively affair in which they played the more purposeful football.
Southampton draw level on points with West Brom, while Leicester move up one place above Bournemouth to 12th but have now won only two of their opening seven league games.
The away side started with intent and applied good pressure from the off, with Austin, in particular, a commanding presence in attack.
With caretaker England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands ahead of his first squad announcement, Austin presented a good case for inclusion after five goals in four games.
A long ball over the top of defence released him and he shot from a wide angle on the right, seeing his attempt come back off the woodwork with Kasper Schmeichel beaten.
Along with Austin, Cedric Soares was an integral part of Southampton's good forward play in the early stages but the Portugal defender had to go off with an ankle injury.
His collision with Marc Albrighton brought his match to an end early and with that came a dip in pace from the visitors.
Leicester almost exploited it as a short passback from Virgil van Dijk let in Jamie Vardy and he homed in on goal.
His England team-mate Fraser Forster stood up well, however, delaying the forward enough for Southampton to get men back and block.
Islam Slimani was then denied on the follow up, with Vardy also stopped once more - and he will have rued his lack of conviction because he should have put the hosts ahead.
The first half was entertaining without having many clear cut chances and Slimani's biggest contribution was his combative approach in attack.
He felt he should have had a penalty when he and Jose Fonte came together in the box but his claims were swiftly dismissed.
As the break approached, Southampton came forward again and Dusan Tadic nearly curled in but his cross was too deep and it dropped just over the bar.
The Serbian should have done better after the restart as Puel's side dictated for a spell but he wasted an opportunity after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's through ball.
Instead of shooting himself, he tried to pick out Austin and it was the wrong choice, as was Austin's own decision to try to chip Schmeichel moments later as he closed the attacker down and saved.
Play opened up and the teams traded shots which were all comfortably held, Danny Drinkwater on target but failing to score for Leicester and Hojbjerg doing the same for Southampton.
Leicester looked most likely to score towards the end, first through Shinji Okazaki's glancing header which dropped just wide of the far post.
Leonardo Ulloa also had a glorious chance to win it seconds from the end after a flowing move orchestrated by Riyad Mahrez but he blazed over the bar.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Huth (6), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (6), Drinkwater (7), Amartey (5), Albrighton (6), Slimani (7), Vardy (6)
Subs used: Gray (4), Okazaki (4), Ulloa (2)
Southampton: Forster (7), Cedric (5), Fonte (6), Davis (8), Austin (7), Tadic (7), Romeu (7), van Dijk (6), Bertrand (7), Redmond (6), Hojbjerg (7)
Subs used: Martina (6), Long (3), Ward-Prowse (2)
Man of the match: Steven Davis