/ Soccer

Swansea 0-0 Southampton

Updated: Saturday, 20 Apr 2013 17:17 | Comments

Swansea 'keeper Michel Vorm collects despite the efforts of Adam Lallana
Swansea 'keeper Michel Vorm collects despite the efforts of Adam Lallana

Southampton edged closer to Premier League survival as they ground out a goalless draw in a lacklustre encounter at Swansea.

The Saints may feel aggrieved they did not leave south Wales with all three points after Adam Lallana had an effort ruled out for handball after an error by Michel Vorm just before half-time.

Nathan Dyer went closest for the hosts as Maya Yoshida cleared his effort off the line, but in truth neither side showed sufficient quality in the final third to craft a winner in what was, for large parts, a tepid game.

Not that Southampton will mind too much. Mauricio Pochettino's side are now eight points clear of the drop zone, and are well-placed to secure survival having been written off in some quarters at the start of the season.

Swansea can also look forward to another top-flight season, but Michael Laudrup will be concerned that their campaign is tailing off as they equalled their previous longest winless run in the Premier League of five games.

Swansea had made a promising start, with their movement causing the visitors problems without creating any clear-cut opportunities.

The best early chance fell to Jonathan de Guzman. Pablo Hernandez's pull-back fell behind Michu to the Dutch international, but several Southampton defenders were out quickly to block.

Luke Moore then narrowly failed to get on the end of Dyer's cross as Saints struggled for a foothold in the early going.

But Pochettino's men grew into the game, with the industrious Jack Cork forcing Vorm into the game's first save with a hopeful effort from the edge of the box.

Vorm made an excellent stop to deny Jay Rodriguez after 25 minutes, getting down low to hold the volley after Rickie Lambert had teed up his colleague.

Vorm continued to be the busier goalkeeper and had to be at full stretch to deny Lambert his 15th goal of the season, the Dutchman tipping over a free-kick that was arrowing into the top corner.

But the keeper blotted his copybook seconds later, failing to hold a simple Rodriguez cross for Lallana to bundle in, only for the whistle to go for handball against the Saints midfielder.

Laudrup removed Moore at the break and introduced Wayne Routledge in a bid to find some inspiration.

The change almost paid dividends just two minutes after the resumption, but Michu could not keep his header down from the winger's cross.

Hernandez engineered another promising situation on the hour as he skipped past Nathaniel Clyne and put a teasing ball across the six-yard box, but there were no white shirts lurking to tap in.

Swansea went closer still six minutes later. Lallana let the ball run loose inside his own area and Michu pounced to set up Dyer, but Yoshida got himself in the right place to clear off the line.

Southampton dropped ever deeper and packed midfield as the pressure increased and Daniel Fox survived an ambitious handball appeal as he blocked substitute Ki Sung-yueng's volley.

Artur Boruc then made two excellent saves as he denied De Guzman and Dyer when the pair were in on goal.

And with time running out the visitors almost snatched a winner.

Ki was muscled off the ball by Steven Davis, but Vorm sharply held Emmanuel Mayuka's effort.

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