English Premiership

Southampton, Swansea share spoils

2017-08-12 19:48
Mauricio Pellegrino (Gallo Images)

Southampton - Mauricio Pellegrino's first competitive match as Southampton manager saw the south coast club once more fail to score at home as they launched their Premier League season with a goalless against Swansea at St Mary's on Saturday.

The Argentinian was appointed after Southampton sacked Claude Puel, who guided the Saints to the League Cup final and eighth place in the Premier League last term, with club officials wanting a more attacking style of football than that played under the Frenchman.

From that point of view, a scoreless encounter with Swansea might not seem like the most encouraging start for Pellegrino, particularly as it meant the Saints had still not scored at home since a 3-1 league win over Crystal Palace on April 5.

It all suggested Pellegrino, who guided Alaves to ninth in La Liga and the Spanish Cup final before leaving in May after one season in charge, had plenty of work to do regarding Southampton's finishing.

Southampton were missing wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk, although that was because of a virus rather than the desire of the Dutch defender who has submitted a transfer request, to move to Liverpool.

Meanwhile Swansea were without Gylfi Sigurdsson, with the Welsh club yet to accept an offer from Liverpool's cross-town rivals Everton for the Icelandic playmaker.

Southampton squandered two early chances to take the lead, Manolo Gabbiadini's header from Ryan Bertrand's in-swinging corner brushing the top of the crossbar.

Dusan Tadic then stabbed wide following a cut back, with England international Bertrand again the provider, when the goal was at his mercy.

Swansea created just the one chance in the first half, but Tammy Abraham was wastefully off-target for the Welsh club with a free header.

Abraham had an effort blocked early in the second half before Gabbiadini curled a shot wide.

The Italian was replaced by Charlie Austin up front but it was Tadic who had the next chance, his powerful shot well saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

Japan's Maya Yoshida headed wide for the Saints when well-placed to score, with Austin off target in stoppage time as the hosts' finishing let them down again.

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Saturday, 26 August 2017
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Crystal Palace v Swansea City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v West Ham United, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Southampton, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Leicester City, Old Trafford 18:30
Sunday, 27 August 2017
Chelsea v Everton, Stamford Bridge 14:30
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City, The Hawthorns 14:30
Liverpool v Arsenal, Anfield 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 09 September 2017
Manchester City v Liverpool, Etihad Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Chelsea, King Power Stadium 16:00
Southampton v Watford, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
Stoke City v Manchester United, Bet365 Stadium 18:30
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