Southampton and Burnley have to settle for a share of the spoils on the opening weekend of the Premier League season as they draw 0-0 at St Mary’s Stadium.
Filed: Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 15:25 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, August 12, 2018 at 15:36 UK
Alex McCarthy was equal to a succession of first-half Burnley chances, while the Saints finished the stronger but could not find a breakthrough.
However, it was one of their own former players in the Burnley ranks who found the net on seven minutes. The Clarets recycled a corner to Jack Cork who finished confidently into the bottom corner from 12 yards, only for the offside flag to go up.
The visitors continued to have the better of the opening stages and needed Alex McCarthy, preferred to new £12m signing Angus Gunn in goal, to rescue them when Aaron Lennon ran onto a botched clearance from Wesley Hoedt to volley powerfully from close range.
McCarthy may have been beaten a couple of moments later when Johan Berg Gudmundsson whipped a 25-yard free kick over the wall which dropped agonisingly onto the roof of the net.
Southampton created something their first chance on 17 minutes when Mario Lemina got across his marker to meet Ryan Bertrand‘s delivery at the near post, where summer signing Joe Hart pushed the ball around his post.
Crosses into the box were Southampton’s best source of opportunities, and they had a new weapon from set pieces in 6ft 6in defender Jannick Vestergaard, who headed over the bar from a 41st-minute corner.
Burnley should have gone into the break in front but James Tarkowski could not direct his close-range header past McCarthy, who also saved from Chris Wood from the resultant corner although the striker did not generate much power on his header.
Vestergaard make an impressive debut for the hosts, crucially intercepting a Matt Lowton cross from which Wood was lining up a simple tap-in. The Dane also deflected Jeff Hendrick‘s shot wide as the Clarets started the second period as brightly as they did the first.
More to follow.
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