Champions Leicester City endured a frustrating afternoon as they drew 0-0 against Southampton at the King Power Stadium.
Both sides competed in European competition midweek but it was the Saints who dominated on Sunday afternoon. Returning from a trip to Israel on Thursday night, Claude Puel’s side showed plenty of energy and attacking intent against a Leicester side who last tasted defeat at home over a year ago.
After a quiet opening, it was the Saints who eventually made the first impression on the quarter hour.
A nice passing move by the visitors allowed Cedric Soares to charge down the right before cutting the ball back for Charlie Austin. The striker could not connect with his first attempt but was teed up by Dusan Tadic moments later, steering his header just wide.
Claude Puel’s men went even closer minutes later as Austin once again went threatened. Making the most of confusion between Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy, Austin smashed an effort from distance to rattle the post. The watching England interim manager Gareth Southgate will have been impressed from what he was seeing.
Following a break in play due to Soares’ injury, the champions came to life to provide their first threat on goal. Virgil van Dijk’s casual back pass encouraged Vardy to chase before being forced to go across goal by Craig Forster in goal. Vardy’s effort was blocked before Islam Slimani was also denied in what was a major let off for the away side.
Leicester were adamant they should have been given a penalty before the interval after Slimani was barged down in the box by Jose Fonte. But referee Martin Atkinson waved away the pleas to leave the Algerian furious.
Southampton passed up a big opportunity to open the scoring after the interval. Cuco Martina’s cross was only partially cleared by Wes Morgan before Steven Davis saw his shot deflected over for a corner. However, the Northern Ireland international could have earned his side a penalty after resisting the temptation to go down in the box.
The Saints were dominating and let another chance in front of goal go to waste. Davis fed the overlapping Ryan Bertrand who released Nathan Redmond, but the forward failed to generate enough power to trouble Kasper Schmeichel in goal.
After enduring a frustrating afternoon in front of goal, Charlie Austin was replaced by James Ward-Prowse in the closing stages. Substitute Shane Long’s quick thinking gave Ward-Prowse the chance to snatch all three points, but he lifted his shot over the bar as the last chance went begging.
The result sees Leicester City fall eight points behind league leaders Manchester City while Southampton sit in tenth place following the draw.