Sunday 24 March 2019

Saints claim point but remain in trouble

Leicester 0 Southampton 0

Blank: Shane Long (r) in action against Wilfred Ndidi
Blank: Shane Long (r) in action against Wilfred Ndidi

Southampton halted their losing run but a goalless draw at Leicester does little for their Premier League survival hopes.

Saints arrived at the King Power Stadium five points adrift of safety with five matches remaining, following four straight league defeats.

It is not exactly mission impossible for Mark Hughes' team as club's have survived from the position they are in, or worse, on four occasions in Premier League history.

Whether Southampton can join Bradford (1999/00), West Ham (2006/07), Fulham (2007/08) and Sunderland (2013/14) remains to be seen.

The stalemate also halted back-to-back losses for Leicester, who remain without a home win in the league since January 20.

Leicester threatened twice inside the opening quarter hour. Riyad Mahrez, Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy, given the armband in Morgan's absence, moved the ball quickly on the edge of the penalty area before Mahrez's low shot was smothered by Alex McCarthy.

Some more lovely one-touch football then saw Iheanacho curl an effort narrowly wide, with McCarthy rooted to the spot, after his initial scuffed shot was blocked.

Southampton's first opening came shortly afterwards when Dusan Tadic's half-volley flew just past the post, this time it was Hamer's turn to just watch and hope.

The Saints should have done better with two chances late in the first half. Cedric Soares missed the target with a volley from Shane Long's far-post cross before Long failed to make the most of a potential two-on-one opportunity, misplacing his pass to Tadic. Much to the annoyance of manager Hughes on the touchline. Long left his manager wondering what might have been again after 57 minutes. The striker seized on a loose ball seven yards out but his shot on the turn was blocked at point-blank range by Hamer. It was the best chance of the game so far.

Southampton survived some intense late pressure from the hosts but Leicester were unable to find a breakthrough and Saints held on. Time will tell if a point is enough for them to stay up.

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