Southampton 0 Newcastle United 0: Saints frustrated as Magpies misery goes on

Newcastle United moved off the bottom of the Premier League, but is still without a win after drawing 0-0 at Southampton.

Published : Oct 27, 2018 22:29 IST

Newcastle's Paul Dummett and Southampton's Cedric Soares in action.
Newcastle's Paul Dummett and Southampton's Cedric Soares in action.

Newcastle's Paul Dummett and Southampton's Cedric Soares in action.

Rafael Benitez and Newcastle United are still waiting for their first win of the season after they battled to a dour 0-0 draw at fellow Premier League strugglers Southampton.

Newcastle went into Saturday's contest bottom of the table with just two points to its name, a close-season dominated by Benitez's complaints over a lack of transfer funds followed by a tricky start that has seen it face five of last season's top six in its opening nine games.

However, last weekend's 1-0 home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion did little to suggest results will improve against a lower calibre of opposition and it was second best throughout against a Southampton side which has found life similarly difficult so far this campaign.

Mohamed Elyounoussi and Mario Lemina had the best chances to give Southampton a result few would have argued with but, after a frustrating first half, the side ran out of ideas and was left to settle for a stalemate that will not do much to ease the pressure on Mark Hughes.

Southampton started much the brighter of the two sides and only Martin Dubravka prevented it from taking an early lead.

The Newcastle goalkeeper denied Elyounoussi after Ryan Bertrand's effort deflected into his path and then turned a Charlie Austin drive behind.

Newcastle did eventually settle into the contest but offered precious little as an attacking force and was fortunate to see Lemina strike the left-hand post with a flicked effort from Bertrand's low cross. Dubravka ensured parity was maintained just before the break as he scrambled to his left to keep out Jack Stephens' header from a left-wing corner.

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Southampton huffed and puffed in a second half in which Newcastle was much more comfortable, with Bertrand seeing a goal-bound effort blocked, Lemina lashing over and Shane Long firing wide as the host was left to rue its earlier missed chances while Newcastle faces the ignominy of having its winless run stretch into November.

What does it mean? 

Magpies stay ground as Saints miss opportunity

The goalless draw is a better result for Newcastle than it is for Southampton, but only moves the side 19th, still with a zero in the win column and above Huddersfield Town on goal difference only. Southampton goes two points clear of the bottom three but, even at this early juncture in the season, will view this as a missed opportunity to put some breathing room between itself and the drop zone.

Bertrand brilliance goes to waste

While its visitor struggled to create anything going forward, Southampton appeared dangerous whenever its opponent attacked, particularly down the left-hand side, where Bertrand was the primary outlet. The full-back was at the heart of Southampton's best opportunities and, on another day, his performance would have been rewarded with the crucial three points Southampton deserved.

Newcastle toothless on their travels

Despite its extremely poor start to the season Newcastle had, until recently, done a decent job of finding the back of the net. However, after an uninspiring display in which Yoshinori Muto was the only player to look lively going forward, the Magpies have now failed to score in four of their last five games. Their lack of quality in the final third was stark and, should it end the season in its current position, that will likely be the chief reason why.

What's next?

Southampton has an EFL Cup tie with Leicester City to contend with on Tuesday before the daunting trip to champion Manchester City next Sunday. A pair of home fixtures are on the horizon for winless Newcastle, but it comes against two of the league's in-form sides in Watford and Bournemouth.

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