Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton managerial career got off to a promising start as an entertaining game with Everton ended goalless.
Pochettino was greeted by warm applause when he took his place in the dugout, and fans will have been happy with his side's first-half display.
Rickie Lambert hit the post before he saw a header cleared off the line.
The visitors improved after the break as Nikica Jelavic mis-hit a shot before Victor Anichebe's drive was saved.
The home side finished strongly and though they could not find a winner, it was ultimately a well-earned point after recent events at the club.
Rare result for Saints
This was Southampton's first goalless draw at St Mary's in over two years.
The last was against Notts County on 15 January 2011.
Much of the focus in the build-up to the game was understandably on Pochettino, who was named Southampton manager on Friday following the surprise sacking of Nigel Adkins.
A throng of photographers had their cameras pointed at the Southampton technical area prior to kick-off as they awaited his arrival, and when the former Espanyol coach did emerge from the tunnel there was a ripple of applause from the home fans within the vicinity of the dugout.
Adkins's contribution to the club was recognised by fans though, as a chant of 'only one Nigel Adkins' rang out as the game got under way, but aside from that there was little in the way of protests.
Despite the potentially unsettling events of the last few days, Southampton started brightly as Phil Jagielka almost diverted Lambert's low cross into his own net, before Jason Puncheon's drive from a dangerous position deflected off Jagielka.
It took Everton 15 minutes to get themselves going but even when they did, they did not trouble Artur Boruc in the Southampton goal as Jelavic headed tamely wide from Marouane Fellaini's ball, before Leighton Baines saw a shot blocked.
Instead it was Saints who continued to look the most likely to score and only the woodwork denied them the lead in the 20th minute as Lambert's curled free-kick bounced back off the left upright.
Minutes later the lively Lambert had another chance as he raced into the area, cut the ball back onto his left foot before trying to bend a shot beyond Tim Howard, but the Everton keeper parried the effort away.
Lambert went even closer midway through the half as his header from a corner was cleared off the line by Jelavic before Jos Hooiveld volleyed straight at Howard from the ensuing mix-up in the area.
As impressive as Southampton had been there was always the fear that they would be made to rue missed chances and that was almost the case six minutes into the second half with Fellaini twice going close.
The Belgian midfielder first saw a close-range shot denied by the feet of Boruc and then directed a header straight at the Southampton keeper.
Anichebe was introduced soon after and the striker's pace soon started to cause the home side defensive problems.
Everton should have been ahead on the hour when Anichebe's well-timed run punched through the Southampton backline and he squared a pass for the unmarked Jelavic inside the area, but the Croatian completely missed his kick and a grateful defence cleared.
Boruc did well to push away a powerful drive from Anichebe as Everton continued to press but Southampton survived, soaking up the pressure before finishing strongly.
Lambert planted a header on the roof of Howard's net but in the end a draw was a probably a fair result.
Everton manager David Moyes said: "We got better after we had a word at half-time. The chance for Jelavic was a real big chance, we are a little bit like that at the moment.
"This time last year we were stealing the goals but it will come. Kevin Mirallas and Victor Anichebe made an impact for us and a draw here is not a bad result.
"We are in a good position and we have as much chance of anyone of getting that fourth spot."
- 31 Boruc
- 02 Clyne
- 03 Yoshida
- 05 Hooiveld Booked
- 23 Shaw
- 04 Schneiderlin Booked
- 10 Ramirez (S Davis - 71' )
- 18 Cork
- 21 Guly (Rodriguez - 62' )
- 42 Puncheon (De Ridder - 87' )
- 07 Lambert
- 01 K Davis
- 13 Fox
- 22 Richardson
- 08 S Davis
- 27 Chaplow
- 33 De Ridder
- 09 Rodriguez
- 24 Howard
- 03 Baines
- 06 Jagielka
- 15 Distin
- 18 Neville
- 23 Coleman (Anichebe - 58' )
- 21 Osman Booked
- 22 Pienaar
- 25 Fellaini
- 07 Jelavic (Mirallas - 66' )
- 14 Naismith
- 01 Mucha
- 05 Heitinga
- 34 Duffy
- 08 Oviedo
- 16 Hitzlsperger
- 11 Mirallas
- 28 Anichebe
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +3:58
Centre by Luke Shaw.90:00 +3:26
Steven Naismith challenges Artur Boruc unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Boruc.90:00 +3:04
Corner taken right-footed by Leighton Baines from the right by-line, save by Artur Boruc.90:00 +2:09
Kevin Mirallas takes a shot. Save by Artur Boruc.89:58
Phil Neville challenges Steve De Ridder unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morgan Schneiderlin takes the direct free kick.87:40
Morgan Schneiderlin takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Victor Anichebe.85:46 Substitution
Substitution Steve De Ridder on for Jason Puncheon.85:46
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Morgan Schneiderlin from the left by-line to the near post.85:04
Marouane Fellaini delivers the ball.82:13
Centre by Jay Rodriguez, blocked by Leighton Baines. Corner taken by Jason Puncheon from the right by-line, Close range headed effort by Rickie Lambert goes wide of the left-hand upright.81:49
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Jay Rodriguez. Marouane Fellaini takes the free kick.81:17
Centre by Jason Puncheon, Phil Jagielka manages to make a clearance.79:19
A cross is delivered by Jay Rodriguez, clearance made by Leon Osman. Jason Puncheon takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Victor Anichebe manages to make a clearance. Jason Puncheon produces a cross, clearance by Leighton Baines.76:47
The ball is swung over by Steven Davis.75:31
The assistant referee signals for offside against Rickie Lambert. Indirect free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.71:16
Rickie Lambert takes a shot. Tim Howard makes a save.73:06
Effort from deep inside the area by Kevin Mirallas misses to the left of the goal.71:23
Maya Yoshida crosses the ball, save by Tim Howard.70:01
Artur Boruc takes the indirect free kick.
Substitution Steven Davis is brought on as a substitute for Gaston Ramirez.70:01
The referee blows for offside against Victor Anichebe.67:36
Victor Anichebe takes a shot. Artur Boruc makes a save. Corner taken by Leighton Baines played to the near post. Steven Pienaar delivers the ball, save made by Artur Boruc.67:04
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Jack Cork. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.65:50
Phil Jagielka takes the direct free kick.65:50 Substitution
Substitution (Everton) makes a substitution, with Kevin Mirallas coming on for Nikica Jelavic.65:50
Morgan Schneiderlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith.65:07
The ball is crossed by Leighton Baines, save by Artur Boruc.64:44
Luke Shaw takes a shot. Victor Anichebe gets a block in.63:47
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Morgan Schneiderlin from the left by-line, Victor Anichebe manages to make a clearance.61:09 Substitution
Substitution Jay Rodriguez comes on in place of Guly Do Prado.60:55
The ball is delivered by Victor Anichebe.59:50
The ball is crossed by Victor Anichebe, clearance by Maya Yoshida. The ball is delivered by Steven Pienaar, clearance by Nathaniel Clyne.59:03
Leighton Baines crosses the ball, clearance made by Rickie Lambert.58:20
Leon Osman takes a shot. Blocked by Maya Yoshida. Corner taken right-footed by Leighton Baines from the left by-line, clearance made by Maya Yoshida.57:44
Leighton Baines takes the inswinging corner, Maya Yoshida makes a clearance.57:44 Substitution
Substitution Victor Anichebe replaces Seamus Coleman.57:32
A cross is delivered by Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw manages to make a clearance.53:44
Luke Shaw takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jagielka.53:07
Centre by Luke Shaw, Seamus Coleman makes a clearance. Corner taken by Morgan Schneiderlin from the left by-line, Marouane Fellaini manages to make a clearance.52:04
Guly Do Prado takes a shot. Phil Jagielka gets a block in.51:22
Guly Do Prado restarts play with the free kick.51:22 Booking
Booking The referee shows Leon Osman a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.51:13
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luke Shaw by Leon Osman.50:42
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Leighton Baines, Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Save made by Artur Boruc.50:27
Centre by Seamus Coleman, Marouane Fellaini takes a shot. Save by Artur Boruc.47:39
Jason Puncheon fouled by Steven Pienaar, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Cork takes the direct free kick.46:34
The ball is swung over by Marouane Fellaini, Maya Yoshida makes a clearance. Seamus Coleman crosses the ball, Nathaniel Clyne manages to make a clearance.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +1:18 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +0:52
Jason Puncheon challenges Leighton Baines unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Sylvain Distin.43:41
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Boruc.42:04
Jason Puncheon crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Rickie Lambert misses to the left of the target.39:55
Nikica Jelavic is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Artur Boruc.38:56
Free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.38:56 Booking
Booking Booking for Morgan Schneiderlin.38:45
Unfair challenge on Steven Naismith by Morgan Schneiderlin results in a free kick.38:18
Morgan Schneiderlin challenges Phil Jagielka unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.37:39
Luke Shaw takes a shot. Seamus Coleman gets a block in. Jos Hooiveld takes a shot. Save made by Tim Howard.36:23
Gaston Ramirez takes a shot. Save made by Tim Howard. Inswinging corner taken by Jason Puncheon from the right by-line, Rickie Lambert takes a shot. Clearance made by Phil Jagielka.33:06
Jason Puncheon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini. Tim Howard takes the free kick.32:22
Jack Cork fouled by Leon Osman, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jack Cork.32:05
Nikica Jelavic delivers the ball, save by Artur Boruc.30:57
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez by Marouane Fellaini. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Gaston Ramirez.27:33
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathaniel Clyne by Marouane Fellaini. Direct free kick taken by Artur Boruc.27:06
Jason Puncheon challenges Leon Osman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tim Howard restarts play with the free kick.26:03
Rickie Lambert takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard.24:34
Luke Shaw fouled by Steven Naismith, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gaston Ramirez.22:03
The free kick is delivered right-footed by Leighton Baines from right channel, save by Artur Boruc.22:03 Booking
Booking Jos Hooiveld receives a yellow card.21:48
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marouane Fellaini by Jos Hooiveld.21:29
Steven Naismith takes a shot. Save by Artur Boruc.19:06
Foul by Phil Neville on Gaston Ramirez, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Rickie Lambert from the free kick.17:29
The ball is crossed by Seamus Coleman, Maya Yoshida makes a clearance. Leighton Baines takes a shot. Jos Hooiveld gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Leighton Baines from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Sylvain Distin misses to the left of the goal.17:19
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leon Osman by Morgan Schneiderlin. Leon Osman restarts play with the free kick.13:55
The ball is swung over by Luke Shaw, Seamus Coleman gets a block in.12:37
Gaston Ramirez takes a shot. Save by Tim Howard. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gaston Ramirez.11:51
Jason Puncheon fouled by Leighton Baines, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gaston Ramirez.11:08
Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Nikica Jelavic misses to the right of the target.10:36
Unfair challenge on Leon Osman by Gaston Ramirez results in a free kick. Sylvain Distin takes the direct free kick.9:35
Foul by Guly Do Prado on Phil Jagielka, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Sylvain Distin.8:51
Centre by Marouane Fellaini, clearance made by Jos Hooiveld.6:33
Jason Puncheon takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jagielka. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Gaston Ramirez from the right by-line.3:45
Centre by Rickie Lambert, Phil Jagielka makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gaston Ramirez.3:22
Phil Jagielka fouled by Rickie Lambert, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Howard.2:14
Steven Pienaar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez. Direct free kick taken by Jack Cork.1:15
Leighton Baines produces a cross, save made by Artur Boruc.0:46
Jason Puncheon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith. Free kick taken by Phil Jagielka.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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