Full-time: Southampton 0 Burnley 0

The Clarets opened their Premier League campaign with a goalless draw against Southampton at St Mary's.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 12:33 pm

The Clarets opened their Premier League campaign with a goalless draw against Southampton at St Mary's.

Following on from the club's Europa League stalemate in Turkey, which also ended 0-0, they took their first point of the season in a game which should have brought more reward.

Burnley had the chances to make things comfortable for themselves in the first half but failed to capitalise on the opportunities that fell their way.

The Clarets haven't been renowned for their goalscoring prowess in the Premier League, netting just 103 goals in 114 games in the top flight under boss Sean Dyche, but they should have made it count when having the upper hand at St Mary's.

The visitors should have had the lead inside the opening 10 minutes when Ashley Westwood zipped the ball in to Jack Cork, on the outside of Jack Stephens, and the midfielder tucked the ball in to the far corner.

However, the former Chelsea man was adjudged to be in an offside position, with replays suggesting differently, and the goal was consequently chalked off.

The Clarets continued to stretch Southampton's central defensive trio and Aaron Lennon would have opened his account for the club had it not been for Alex McCarthy's smart block.

The Saints were hanging on by a thread but with the game still goalless it was still anybody's for the taking.

That proved to be the case when Mario Lemina got on the end of Ryan Bertrand's, powering a header goalwards, with Joe Hart flicking the ball over the crossbar.

Burnley's productivity throughout the first half couldn't be questionned but they failed to take advantage when getting the ball in to key areas.

Cork was guilty of not releasing the ball quick enough when the Clarets had a numerical advantage in a two-v-one situation and, when the ball was offloaded to Johann Berg Gudmundsson over the head of Jannik Vestergaard, the winger's route to goal was blocked.

Stuart Armstrong, who arrived on the South Coast from Celtic in the summer, had the chance to make the visitors pay for their profligacy again but, having taken the ball under control inside the box, the midfielder fired across the face of goal.

With the half drawing to a close Danish defender Vestergaard couldn't steer his header on target when unchallenged from Armstrong's corner while, at the other end, Jeff Hendrick failed to generate enough venom in his header to convert Ben Mee's acrobatic assist as McCarthy beat the ball to safety.

The away side carried on from where they had left off after the interval and it took a determined challenge from Jack Stephens to prevent Gudmundsson from opening the scoring from close range.

Stephen Ward was the unlikliest of sources to get on the end of Hendrick's lofted pass moments later, with the full back connecting well on the volley, but McCarthy was well placed to collect.

But the hosts improved vastly after the break, carrying a greater attacking threat and finding a rhythm to their play, and James Tarkowski had to be switched on to divert Nathan Redmond's attempt for a corner.

Mee almost put the ball in to his own net from the resulting set-piece, inadvertently guiding a header past Hart, but Westwood, who had covered every blade of grass, turned the ball off the line.

Danny Ings, who scored 43 goals during his time at Turf Moor, helping the club to promotion to the top flight in 2013/14, had replaced Armstrong by this point and instantly accelerated Southampton's inventiveness in the final third.

The striker whipped the ball around the upright when shifting the ball on to his right boot and then swung in the delivery to tee up Stephens at the far post, where the defender was foiled by Hart.

The England international, who would keep his second successive clean sheet for his new club, after keeping Istanbul Basaksehir out at the Fatih Terim Stadium midweek, held on to Lemina's header with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining and then watched as Ings sent substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi's corner over the bar.