Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino began his reign at the
struggling Premier League club with an impressive 0-0 draw against
fifth-placed Everton on Monday, three days after taking over from the
sacked Nigel Adkins.
were much the better side in the first half as in-form striker Rickie
Lambert hit the woodwork with a bending free-kick and narrowly failed to
score with two trademark headers.
Everton improved in the second half but also failed to convert chances as the home side clung on for a valuable draw.
moved to 38 points, within three of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and
four ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool while Southampton edged further
away from the relegation zone to 23 points, four above the drop.
Argentina international Pochettino was controversially appointed
manager despite Southampton's improved recent form, including a 2-2
comeback draw from two goals down at European champions Chelsea on
Wednesday, Adkins' final game in charge.
of the south-coast club had threatened a frosty reception for the
former Espanyol boss, given Adkins' popularity and the fact he had
lifted Southampton out of the relegation places after leading them back
to the Premier League.
want to thank the players for the three days they have worked with me,
they have done well. I also have to thank the supporters, they have been
kind and the reception was amazing," Pochettino told Sky Sports through
"We did well
tonight, we created several chances to score. The only shame was that
we did not score a lot of goals but we created a lot of chances against a
good side like Everton. We suffered a bit in the second half, we were
not as good as we were in the first half.
"I really enjoyed the game today. The people who have worked in this league always said that it is amazing."
was little sign of hostility towards Pochettino or executive chairman
Nicola Cortese as Southampton began brightly and Everton defender Phil
Jagielka nearly turned the ball into his own net early on.
crashed a 30-metre free-kick on to the post from 30 metres and Everton
goalkeeper Tim Howard was called into action on several occasions to
deny the buzzing hosts.
Lambert headers, a Gaston Ramirez effort and defender Jos Hooiveld's
turn and shot underlined Southampton's dominance of the first half.
goalkeeper Artur Boruc was forced into his first genuine save after 51
minutes when Marouane Fellaini shot low at the far post only for the
Pole to clear with his leg.
the resulting corner Fellaini headed straight at the Southampton keeper
and Everton started to find their feet, Nikica Jelavic spurning a great
chance when he failed to connect with Victor Anichebe's inviting low
Boruc made a great
one-handed save high to his right from Anichebe after 68 minutes when
the substitute was played through and fired off a fierce left-foot shot.
was frustrated with how we played and frustrated in the second half
that we did not get the goal," Everton manager David Moyes said.
have played well in recent weeks and they continued that form. We got
better in the second half. In the end they had the better of the first
half and we probably had the better of the second."
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