Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP)
Mauricio Pellegrino's first competitive match as Southampton
manager saw the south coast club once more fail to score at home
as they launched their Premier League season with a goalless
against Swansea at St Mary's on Saturday.
The Argentinian was appointed after Southampton sacked Claude
Puel, who guided the Saints to the League Cup final and eighth
place in the Premier League last term, with club officials
wanting a more attacking style of football than that played under
From that point of view, a scoreless encounter with Swansea might
not seem like the most encouraging start for Pellegrino,
particularly as it meant the Saints had still not scored at home
since a 3-1 league win over Crystal Palace on April 5.
It all suggested Pellegrino, who guided Alaves to ninth in La
Liga and the Spanish Cup final before leaving in May after one
season in charge, had plenty of work to do regarding
Southampton were missing wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk,
although that was because of a virus rather than the desire of
the Dutch defender who has submitted a transfer request, to move
Meanwhile Swansea were without Gylfi Sigurdsson, with the Welsh
club yet to accept an offer from Liverpool's cross-town rivals
Everton for the Icelandic playmaker.
Southampton squandered two early chances to take the lead, Manolo
Gabbiadini's header from Ryan Bertrand's inswing corner brushing
the top of the crossbar.
Dusan Tadic then stabbed wide following a cut back, with England
international Bertrand again the provider, when the goal was at
Swansea created just the one chance in the first half, but Tammy
Abraham was wastefully off-target for the Welsh club with a free
Abraham had an effort blocked early in the second half before
Gabbiadini curled a shot wide.
The Italian was replaced by Charlie Austin up front but it was
Tadic who had the next chance, his powerful shot well saved by
Japan's Maya Yoshida headed wide for the Saints when well-placed
to score, with Austin off target in stoppage time as the hosts'
finishing let them down again.