Premier League - Southampton hold Swansea to goalless draw

Premier League, Liberty Stadium - Swansea City 0, Southampton 0

Premier League - Southampton hold Swansea to goalless draw

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Swansea City's Nathan Dyer is challenged by Southampton's Daniel Fox (R) during their English Premier League soccer match at Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales April 20, 2013 (Reuters)

Southampton extended their unbeaten run to six matches with a hard-fought goalless draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea, who are now without a win in five, controlled large portions of the game against Mauricio Pochettino’s side but lacked the cutting edge required to break the deadlock.

Southampton did have the ball in the back of the net but captain Adam Lallana’s effort was ruled out for a foul on Michel Vorm and both sides were forced to settle for a point.

Swansea went into the game having registered only four points from five Premier League games since winning the Capital One Cup on February 24.

The hosts started brightly, however, moving the ball around quickly and accurately in the style that has endeared Michael Laudrup’s side to many.

Nathan Dyer was the home side’s chief architect and was at the heart of many of Swansea's early moves. The winger found Pablo Hernandez on the right side of the box, and the Spaniard in turn moved the ball on to Nathan De Guzman but the midfielder’s low driving shot was blocked before it reached Artur Boruc.

But, for all their possession and neat build-up play, Swansea failed to make their early dominance count, rarely giving Boruc too much cause for concern.

Having weathered the early storm, Southampton began to grow into the first half, earning two free-kicks in dangerous positions. Top goal scorer Rickie Lambert fired the first into the wall before forcing Vorm into a fine save with the second.

Southampton had the ball in the back of the net from the resultant corner, but Lallana was adjudged to have fouled Vorm before poking the ball into the net four minutes before the break.

Swansea boss Laudrup made one substitution at the break, with Wayne Routledge replacing Luke Moore, and the change nearly paid off just three minutes after the restart when Routledge whipped in a superb cross, but Michu could only direct his header over the crossbar.

Laudrup’s side came closest to opening the scoring after 66 minutes when Dyer and Michu exchanged passes inside the box, only for the Swansea winger’s weak shot to be cleared off the line by Maya Yoshida.

Saint keeper Boruc was then called in to action to deny De Guzman after a neat passing move set the Dutchman free.

And with no goals seemingly in the offing, the biggest cheer of the afternoon came when referee Mark Halsey hit the deck after tripping up.

Southampton, however, could have won it in the 90th minute but Vorm kept out substitute Emmanuel Mayuka’s close-range shot after good work by Steven Davis.


Nathan Dyer - Swansea City: Dyer was at the heart of most of Swansea's moves although the winger lacked the final ball needed to unlock the Southampton defence.


SWANSEA CITY: Vorm 7, Rangel 6, Flores 6, Williams 6, Davies 6, Britton 5, de Guzman 7, Michu 6, Dyer 7, Hernandez 5, Moore 5. SUBS: Routledge 6, Ki 6

SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc 6, Clyne 6, Yoshida 6, Hooiveld 7, Fox 6, Schneiderlin 6, Cork 7, S. Davis 6, Rodriguez 6, Lambert 6, Lallana 5. SUBS: Ramirez 6, Puncheon 6, Mayuka n/a


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