Southampton 0-0 Burnley: Alex McCarthy earns point for Southampton

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    Alex McCarthy retained his position in goal after starting in Southampton’s last Premier League game against Manchester City in May

    An inspired performance from goalkeeper Alex McCarthy helped Southampton earn a point against Burnley at St Mary’s.

    Burnley controlled the tempo early on in the game, despite only returning from Europa League action on Friday.

    McCarthy denied Aaron Lennon early on before keeping out Jeff Hendrick’s low first-half header.

    But the hosts came back into the game when new signings Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi were introduced to the action.

    Jack Stephens saw his side-foot effort at the back post turned round the corner by Clarets’ keeper Joe Hart, and the former England number one clung on to Mario Lemina’s header.

    Ings proved to be a welcome addition for Southampton as the striker headed over the bar from a corner before laying the ball into Elyounoussi’s path in the Clarets’ box, but the Norwegian saw his shot deflected behind Hart’s goal.

    No sign of a European hangover

    Burnley started the match with a real intensity, which suggests they were not suffering after their trip to Istanbul in Europa League qualifying on Thursday.

    The Clarets, who made four changes after their stalemate in Turkey, enjoyed 58% possession in the first half, as Lennon forced McCarthy into an early save.

    Saints failed to clear their lines as the former Everton forward latched onto the loose ball before firing at goal, but the Southampton keeper made himself big and kept it out.

    The visitors continued to dominate the first half with 12 attempts on goal, but only four were on target.

    Hendrick nearly headed Sean Dyche’s men in front in the final minutes of the half, after the ball fell kindly for the midfielder following Ben Mee’s acrobatic overhead kick. But McCarthy was equal to it, getting down low to his right to keep the scores level at the break.

    Burnley started the second half in a similar fashion and McCarthy was called into action again as Stephen Ward was first to the second ball following a corner, but the Saints keeper showed good speed to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

    Southampton grew into the game after introducing Ings and Elyounoussi, but Hart was in impressive form to deny Stephens, and Dyche will be buoyed by his side’s performance after three matches in the Europe.

    More to follow.

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