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Southampton frustrated in goalless draw at Fulham

FOOTBALL By Reuters | December 26th 2020
December 26, 2020 Fulham's Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in action with Southampton's Jan Bednarek [ REUTERS]

Southampton were left frustrated by the woodwork and close offside calls as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday.

The result left Fulham in 18th place on 11 points from 15 games, while Southampton dropped to eighth spot on 25 points.

Fulham threatened to break the deadlock through early counter attacks led by Andre-Frank Anguissa and Ademola Lookman while Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse’s free kick in the 26th minute smashed the woodwork.

The visitors stepped up their intensity in the second half, with striker Shane Long’s thunderous half-volley forcing an impressive save from Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Long, who led the Southampton attack in the absence of the injured Danny Ings, found the net with 15 minutes remaining but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Theo Walcott’s late goal appeared to have handed Southampton all three points but following a VAR review, fellow forward Che Adams was found to have been offside in the build-up.

Defeat, however, would have been harsh on Fulham, who dominated for long periods in the absence of manager Scott Parker, who was self-isolating.

They remain in the relegation zone but now find themselves on a four-game unbeaten run in the competition.

Southampton created just three attempts on goal but manager Ralph Hasenhuettl was delighted to have secured a clean sheet in the absence of influential centre back Jannik Vestergaard, who has been ruled out for at least four weeks with a knee injury.

Ings and midfielder Nathan Redmond were also unavailable against Fulham due to muscle injuries, while midfielder Oriol Romeu missed out through suspension.

“Without Vestergaard, Romeu and Ings, I think we did a good job,” Hasenhuettl said.

“We had the better chances, scored two goals. One was a very close offside but fantastic play.

“When you concede a goal here it’s nearly impossible to come back in the game. We have seen this in the past and it was most important thing to have at first a clean sheet.”

Southampton return to action on Tuesday when they host West Ham United, while Fulham travel to Tottenham Hotspur a day later.

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