Southampton 0 Newcastle United 0
- Chris Kavanagh
Newcastle United were held to a goalless draw at Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies’ search for a first win of the season goes on as they were kept out by Saints, though United were indebted to goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka as they emerged with a point from a hard-fought clash at St. Mary’s.
Chances proved scarce for Rafa Benítez’s side, who will take heart from a resolute defensive display which saw them pick up a third clean sheet of the campaign.
The first chance of the afternoon fell to the hosts with barely three minutes on the clock. Captain Ryan Bertrand’s mishit drive fell fortuitously for Mohamed Elyounoussi and the Norwegian took aim from a tight angle, forcing Dúbravka to repel the strike from close range.
Frontmen Charlie Austin and Danny Ings had been well-placed in the six-yard box when Elyounoussi fired goalwards, and just a few minutes later Austin had a go himself. Again, though, Dúbravka was equal to it, tipping his 20-yarder round the post.
But Saints ended the half in the ascendency. Mark Hughes’ men broke and Bertrand whipped a low centre towards Mario Lemina, whose flick struck the outside of the post. Elyounoussi’s curler flashed just past the post before, in the half’s dying moments, Jack Stephen’s header was clawed away from the bottom corner by Dúbravka.
Ings collected another Redmond centre just after the restart, but couldn’t get a shot away as Jamaal Lascelles applied pressure. At the other end, United continued to probe the Saints backline, with Shelvey firing high and wide and the lively Muto just failing to pick out Kenedy in the middle.
But Southampton remained a threat in attack. Redmond forced another smart stop from the Magpies’ Slovakian stopper and Ings saw successive shots blocked by the resolute Newcastle defence. Another break saw Redmond and Cedric try their luck as Hughes’ side cranked up the pressure, but United stood firm.
And though Lemina blasted over and Long dragged one wide of the upright, neither side really looked like finding a winner in the closing stages on a bitter afternoon on the south coast.