Southampton hold on to claim vital point at Bournemouth

Soccer Football - Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Southampton - Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, Britain - October 20, 2018 Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini misses a chance to score REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Oct 20 (Reuters) – Bournemouth were held 0-0 by Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, with the stalemate maintaining their unbeaten record at home in all competitions this season.

The Cherries started the game with more intensity than their opponents, but were unable to break down a staunch Southampton defence. Mark Hughes’ struggling side then grew into the contest.

Saints’ Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg found striker Charlie Austin behind the Bournemouth defenders halfway through the opening period, but his touch let him down for what would have been a rare clear-cut chance.

Hojbjerg then made an opening for himself after the hour mark by chesting the ball down and hitting a fierce volley. However, it was palmed away by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Shortly after, Nathan Ake had one of the best opportunities for the hosts but his header from a Ryan Fraser corner went straight at Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy.

Both sides threatened in the closing stages, with Southampton substitute Manolo Gabbiadini having a clear header just before the final whistle but he could only get it onto the roof of the net.

The match ended goalless to leave Bournemouth still flying high in sixth in the Premier League standings.

Southampton, now without a win in five league matches, remain 16th and face Newcastle United at home next Saturday. Eddie Howe’s side travel to Fulham.

“We had the best and most clear-cut chances, one at the death from Manolo Gabbiadini, he was not able to get on top of the ball,” Southampton coach Hughes told the BBC.

“We were up against good quality teams in Liverpool and Chelsea in the past games, it was important to make a statement today. We showed we are committed, but no little show of skill either, we created the best chances, chances we needed to take to get points.”

Bournemouth’s Howe conceded that his team had not been at their best.

“We try and go very positive in every match and try and score. It didn’t quite happen for us today…,” he said.

“We really did try, we huffed, and puffed, but we didn’t quite have the incisive attacking play to break them down and when we did, we didn’t quite get the finish right.

“We were slightly below our best in all phases of our game, really.”

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