English Premiership

Leicester draw inflicts relegation blow on Saints

2018-04-20 07:09
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Mark Hughes is still searching for his first Premier League win as Southampton manager after the goalless draw with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night.

Hughes had lost his previous three fixtures in charge after being appointed in March and needed victory in the East Midlands to stand a chance of escaping the drop.

The Saints had the better chances on the night, but they could not find a way past Ben Hamer in the home goal and had to settle for a point which took them within four of 17th-placed Swansea, who have a game in hand.

Claude Puel's side made a bright start, though, as they looked to snap a two-match losing streak, and Riyad Mahrez tested Alex McCarthy with a low strike on eight minutes after being set up by Jamie Vardy.

Kelechi Iheanacho wasn't far away from opening the scoring nine minutes later when he fired just wide of the left post having spun Oriol Romeu inside the box after his initial shot was blocked.

Dusan Tadic threatened for the visitors on the 20-minute mark with a half-volley from range that flashed past the left post, while Ryan Bertrand tested Hamer with a driven effort as half-time approached.

Cedric could only hit the side-netting from an angle on the right in the 40th minute after stretching to get on the end of Shane Long's cross on the left, while the Irishman forced Hamer into a sharp save at point-blank range on 57 minutes after Tadic's shot deflected into his path six yards out.

Vardy almost scored an exquisite goal on 71 minutes when he connected with Marc Albrighton's weighted ball over the top in mid-air, but McCarthy was alert to the danger and tipped his volley over the crossbar.

McCarthy nearly gifted the Foxes a late winner when he spilled Mahrez's corner on 78 minutes, but the ball dropped at the feet of a Saints defender and the danger was cleared, much to the keeper's relief as the Saints came away with the share of the spoils.

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