Report: Leicester 0-0 Saints

By Gordon Simpson Sun 02 Oct Leicester vs Saints
Sun 02 Oct 2.15PM
Premier League
Leicester City
0
Southampton
0
Mahrez (54')
Referee: Martin Atkinson | Venue: King Power Stadium | Attendance: 31,563

Southampton made it six matches unbeaten, as they once again produced a rock-solid display to earn a 0-0 draw at Premier League champions Leicester City.

Saints had the better of the encounter at King Power Stadium and came closest to a decisive goal, with Charlie Austin hitting the post in the first half, but in the end they had to settle for a point.

The result also meant a sixth consecutive clean sheet for Claude Puel’s men, who have enjoyed a strong week on the road, following up three successive home wins with a victory at West Ham and then back-to-back 0-0 draws, away to Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Europa League and then against the Foxes.

Puel made seven changes from the team that drew in Israel on Thursday, reverting back to the side that prevailed at London Stadium last weekend.

Austin, Steven Davis, Ryan Bertrand and captain José Fonte, who were all rested for the long trip in midweek, therefore came back into the line-up, with Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk, Oriol Romeu and Nathan Redmond the only players to retain a starting spot from Be’er Sheva.

Charlie Austin was back leading the line



Austin, with five goals in his previous four games and under the eye of interim England boss Gareth Southgate in the stands, proved a major threat in the early stages, initially from a pair of right-wing crosses – the first from Cédric that was headed straight at Kasper Schmeichel, before then beating Danny Simpson again in the air, only to glance Dušan Tadić’s ball into the area wide.

In the 15th minute, the Saints striker was inches away from giving the visitors the lead, as a superb lofted pass from Davis picked out his run into the right side of the area, only for Austin’s sweetly-struck effort across goal to beat Schmeichel and rebound to safety off the post.

Saints were then forced into a 26th-minute change, with Cuco Martina replacing Cédric, after the right-back picked up a knock that he couldn’t shake.

As in control as Puel’s side were, they were indebted to Romeu for not going behind just before the half-hour mark, as Virgil van Dijk’s under-hit back pass allowed Jamie Vardy a clear run on goal.

However, as the Foxes striker attempted to round Fraser Forster, Romeu tracked back brilliantly to get a foot in, before then blocking Islam Slimani’s follow-up effort and then Vardy’s subsequent volley.

Oriol Romeu makes a saving tackle


There was another hint of danger from the hosts in added time at the end of the first half, as Riyad Mahrez was afforded space to drive towards the box, but his left-footed strike from a dangerous position 20 yards out was, uncharacteristically, sliced badly wide.

It was a game in which chances were becoming a real premium, with Davis earning a sniff of one in the 59th minute, pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the area, only to see his effort deflected behind.

Redmond was then afforded a good sight of goal three minutes later, as Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s incisive pass picked out his angled run into the area, but his low shot didn’t have enough on it to beat the diving Schmeichel at his near post.

An even better opportunity arrived almost immediately, as van Dijk’s through pass sent Austin in, but Schmeichel superbly read his attempted chip, sticking up an arm to deny him.

Charlie Austin is denied by Kasper Schmeichel

Just as Saints were enjoying their most threatening spell of the game, Leicester went up the other end and came close to breaking the deadlock, as Danny Drinkwater escaped down the inside-left, but put his shot into the side netting from an acute angle.

With 25 minutes left, Saints saw the back of Vardy, as he and Marc Albrighton were replaced by Shinji Okazaki and Demarai Gray.

Again it was Drinkwater providing the hosts’ greatest threat, though, as his rasping effort from distance was well held by Fraser Forster, while Schmeichel then had to match that at the other end from Højbjerg’s low drive.

Saints’ first change arrived with 20 minutes left, as Shane Long was introduced for Tadić.

Five minutes later, Saints nearly fell behind, as a Christian Fuchs long throw into the area was diverted goalwards by Robert Huth, with the ball hitting the upright, ahead of Okazaki flicking a header inches wide of the far post just seconds afterwards.

Austin’s pursuit of a fifth consecutive game with a goal ended in the 83rd minute, as he was withdrawn from the action in place of James Ward-Prowse.

The midfielder had a glorious opportunity to score within seconds of his arrival, but his side-footed half-volley from Long’s cutback sailed over, as the spoils were shared.

Leicester City

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    38
    62
  • Shots
    9
    11
  • Shots on target
    1
    5
  • Corners
    3
    6
  • Passes Complete
    286
    525

Leicester City

1
Kasper Schmeichel (GK)
6
Robert Huth
28
Christian Fuchs
5
Wes Morgan (C)
17
Danny Simpson
11
Marc Albrighton
Demarai Gray (66′)
26
Riyad Mahrez
13
Daniel Amartey
4
Daniel Drinkwater
19
Islam Slimani
Leonardo Ulloa (78′)
9
Jamie Vardy
Shinji Okazaki (66′)
10
Andy King
20
Shinji Okazaki
21
Ron-Robert Zieler
2
Luis Hernández
22
Demarai Gray
15
Jeffrey Schlupp
23
Leonardo Ulloa

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
17
Virgil van Dijk
6
José Fonte (C)
21
Ryan Bertrand
2
Cédric Soares
Cuco Martina (27′)
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
8
Steven Davis
11
Dusan Tadic
Shane Long (71′)
14
Oriol Romeu
10
Charlie Austin
James Ward-Prowse (83′)
22
Nathan Redmond
4
Jordy Clasie
16
James Ward-Prowse
32
Olufela Olomola
7
Shane Long
15
Cuco Martina
13
Alex McCarthy
3
Maya Yoshida
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