There will not be many Southampton fans hailing a new dawn at the start of this new season, but this opening-day draw can at least be seen as progress of sorts.
Mark Hughes’s side were certainly more durable here than they had been for so much of last year’s sorry campaign, and by the end they even showed some genuine attacking intent as they sought a winner against a typically obdurate Burnley.
The second-half performance of Danny Ings, the new loan signing from Liverpool, will certainly have been encouraging for the home side.
As will the manner in which Southampton clung on during a chastening first half, when Burnley played with the sort of attacking swagger that befits their new status as one of the Premier League’s representatives in European competition.
Under such pressure, the Southampton of last season would surely have folded. Here, they did just enough to hold firm before eventually regaining their composure and then, at the end, taking the game to their opponents. So controlling were Southampton in the latter stages that Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, described the stalemate as a “winning draw”.
Ings, Mario Lemina and Jack Stephens all went close to scoring a late winner for the home side, who found Joe Hart in impressive form on his league debut for Burnley. A draw — the first goalless result of the new season — was therefore no more or less than either side deserved.
More Info: www.telegraph.co.uk