Premier League
Leicester0Southampton0

Leicester City 0-0 Southampton

Shane Long
Shane Long has only scored two goals for Southampton in the league this season

Southampton have to "take more risks" and "just go for it" says manager Mark Hughes, after the Saints were held to a goalless draw against Leicester at the King Power.

The Saints remain four points from safety and are winless in their last eight games as they head into Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.

"We need to be on the front foot," said Hughes. "We have to ask more questions than we did of Leicester."

Southampton's Shane Long was denied from close range in the second half after Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho went close before the break.

Saints keeper Alex McCarthy also tipped over Jamie Vardy's prodded effort as Leicester searched for a winner.

"Defensively we were better but we have got to get the balance right," added Hughes. "We need to defend properly and be a threat the other way.

"Only time will tell to see whether the point is enough for us. We are looking to get maximum points from every game now.

"The players are a little bit flat and we have got a big game at the weekend but we are not in the situation where we are downhearted."

Southampton's next Premier League match is on 28 April when they host Bournemouth - one of four remaining games of the season.

Saints miss chance to close the gap

Southampton looked short of ideas and low on confidence as they were forced to settle for a draw in a performance symptomatic of a team fighting to get out of the bottom three.

It took until the 18th minute for the visitors to have a tame shot on goal and they recorded just one touch in Leicester's box before the half-hour mark.

And when Long fluffed his attempted cut-back just moments before the half-time whistle, manager Hughes thrust his arms into the air in frustration and turned back to the bench with a huff.

Southampton's Shane Long
Southampton's players looked dejected at full-time as they missed an opportunity to close the gap on their safety

There was a slight improvement towards the end of the first half - Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares had promising efforts on goal - but it was still a timid end to a fairly lacklustre opening 45 minutes.

Southampton showed more intensity in the second half and should have taken the lead when Long's poke from close range was blocked by goalkeeper Ben Hamer.

But in the end they had to settle for a draw which is not the result Southampton would have hoped for in their quest to avoid relegation for the first time since 2012.

The Saints have recorded just one league victory in their last 21 games - against bottom club West Brom - and they missed a chance to pick up all three points against a comfortable Leicester side who had the freedom to experiment slightly.

Southampton can enjoy the prospect of an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, which is a rare opportunity for fans to be optimistic, but their future in the Premier League looks to be coming to an end.

They have four games remaining to pick up as many points as possible but with champions Manchester City visiting on the final day, Southampton's hopes look slim.

Southampton's remaining Premier League fixtures
28 April - Bournemouth (H)
5 May - Everton (A)
8 May - Swansea (A)
13 May - Manchester City (H)

Puel experiments with personnel

Leicester's performance epitomised that of a team comfortably in mid-table and with little to play for as the season reaches its conclusion.

Ex-Saints manager Claude Puel used the game as an opportunity to test out new formations and partnerships ahead of next season.

Marc Albrighton played on the right of a back four in a 4-4-1-1 formation but was still able to present a threat with his delivery - providing several chances for Vardy in the second half.

And Vardy also linked up well with Iheanacho - who made his fourth start of the season - creating chances during a bright spell when they dominated in the first half.

But aside from a few tweaks, it was a relatively forgettable performance from Leicester as they rarely peppered Southampton's goal in a match which lacked quality.

Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho started his fourth league game for Leicester this season

Another goalless draw - the best of the stats

  • This was the 27th 0-0 draw in the Premier League this season, equalling the tally from 2016-17 (27) but with four matchdays remaining.
  • Southampton have been involved in five of these goalless draws in 2017-18; more than any other side.
  • The Saints didn't attempt a single shot on target until the 57th minute of this match. They only attempted one more in the game, and that came in the 90th minute.
  • Leicester have collected 44 points this season, level with their points tally in the whole of 2016-17.
  • Southampton (29 points) need three points from their remaining four league games of the season to even match their worst-ever points tally in a Premier League season (32 in 2004-05, when they finished bottom).
  • After winning the 2015-16 Premier League title with 23 wins to their name, Leicester City have won the exact same number of matches (23) in 72 games since August 2016.
  • Wilfred Ndidi made six tackles in this match; double the number of any other player. Overall this season, he's made the most tackles in the competition (135); 29 more than any other player.

'Only time will tell' - what the managers said

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Leicester 0-0 Southampton: Claude Puel a 'little disappointed' with Foxes draw

Leicester manager Claude Puel: "We are a little bit disappointed not to win but I'm happy with our performance. It was important to continue the momentum from the second half against Burnley and I think we did that.

"We showed a lot of quality and had two or three good chances to score in the first half and we played with a good tempo and intensity. If we can repeat this performance in the next game against Crystal Palace we will do well.

"Kasper (Schmeichel) will play the next game, it was not a big injury but I'm happy with Ben Hamer's performance and he made a good save in the first half."

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Leicester 0-0 Southampton: I can't fault my players - Mark Hughes

Southampton manager Mark Hughes speaking to BBC Sport: "We hoped to get more out of the game and we had a couple of chances. Their keeper made a good save against Shane Long but we were up against a good side and we had to stay in the game. Clearly we would have liked to have been more expansive but we got a point, and we play at home next which is huge for us.

"Only time will tell to see whether the point is enough for us. There was a little bit of apprehension in our play. The players are a little bit flat and we have got a big game at the weekend but we are not in the situation where we are downhearted.

"It's the disappointment of not getting maximum points, but the key was to get something from the game. Tonight we probably didn't play as well as in recent weeks but we took something from the game."

What's next?

Leicester's next match isn't until Saturday, 28 April when they travel to Crystal Palace (15:00 BST).

Southampton take on Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday (15:00 BST) before returning to league action on Saturday, 28 April when they host Bournemouth (15:00 BST).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 12Hamer
  • 11Albrighton
  • 16Dragovic
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 26Mahrez
  • 14Adrien SilvaSubstituted forBarnesat 90+1'minutes
  • 25Ndidi
  • 7GraySubstituted forChoudhuryat 90+1'minutes
  • 8IheanachoSubstituted forDiabatéat 76'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 2Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 17Jakupovic
  • 28Fuchs
  • 32Barnes
  • 33Diabaté
  • 38Choudhury

Southampton

  • 13McCarthy
  • 35Bednarek
  • 3Yoshida
  • 6Hoedt
  • 2Soares
  • 14Romeu
  • 23HøjbjergSubstituted forRedmondat 88'minutes
  • 21Bertrand
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forDavisat 58'minutes
  • 11Tadic
  • 7LongSubstituted forAustinat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Davis
  • 10Austin
  • 20Gabbiadini
  • 22Redmond
  • 26Pied
  • 39Sims
  • 44Forster
Referee:
Roger East
Attendance:
31,160

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home11
Away6
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Southampton 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Southampton 0.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Wesley Hoedt.

Attempt blocked. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Attempt missed. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ben Chilwell with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Harvey Barnes replaces Adrien Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces Demarai Gray.

Attempt saved. Charlie Austin (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dusan Tadic.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Nathan Redmond replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.

Offside, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Harry Maguire is caught offside.

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Wesley Hoedt.

Attempt missed. Adrien Silva (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

Attempt missed. Fousseni Diabaté (Leicester City) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Demarai Gray.

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jan Bednarek (Southampton).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Oriol Romeu.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Fousseni Diabaté replaces Kelechi Iheanacho.

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Riyad Mahrez.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Charlie Austin replaces Shane Long.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Dusan Tadic (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Alex McCarthy.

Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Wesley Hoedt.

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dusan Tadic (Southampton).

Offside, Leicester City. Demarai Gray tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Foul by Harry Maguire (Leicester City).

Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City33283293256887
2Man Utd34235665263974
3Liverpool342010478354370
4Tottenham34208666313568
5Chelsea34196959342563
6Arsenal331661162451754
7Burnley341410103431352
8Leicester341111124947244
9Everton34119143954-1542
10Newcastle33118143542-741
11Bournemouth35911154158-1738
12Watford34107174260-1837
13Brighton34812143247-1536
14West Ham33811144159-1835
15Huddersfield3498172754-2735
16Crystal Palace34810163654-1834
17Swansea3389162746-1933
18Southampton34514153353-2029
19Stoke34610183164-3328
20West Brom34412182752-2524
View full Premier League table

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