Hapoel Beer Sheva 0-0 Southampton: More needed in attack as Saints fail to break down hosts

Hapoel Beer Sheva 0-0 Southampton: More needed in attack as Saints fail to break down hosts

Southampton missed the chance to make it from two wins from two as they struggled to break down a solid Hapoel Beer Sheva side in the Europa League.

Aaron Stokes

Southampton failed to make it two wins from two in the Europa League, as they played out a 0-0 draw with Hapoel Beer Sheva

Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, Steven Davis and Charlie Austin were all left at home for tonight's game and the decision to not include in-form Austin proved to be costly.  

The game won't be remembered by many, as both sides hardly threatened to score all the way through the game. 

Virgil Van Dijk had Saints' best chance to break the deadlock after just three minutes but he missed the target with his header. Whilst Hapoel had a few chances in the second period but ultimately failed to offer much going forward. 

The draw leaves Southampton top of the group on goal difference, with Inter Milan up next. 

A dull first half for all involved

It seemed harder to score than miss for Van Dijk and he really should have opened the scoring after only three minutes but he couldn't guide his header on target, after James Ward-Prowse whipped a free kick into the six yard area.

Nwakaeme had a chance to open the scoring soon after for Hapoel as he turned niftily 25 yards from goal and unleashed a well-hit strike. Fraser Forster didn't have to move much to save it.

Van Dijk then redeemed himself to save Southampton, as he made a crucial interception to deny Melikson going through on goal, after he was played through by Korhut.

Van Dijk makes a crucial interception in the first half. Photo: Getty.

Hesketh withdrawn early

Dusan Tadic made an early appearance, as he replaced Jake Hesketh before half-time for tactical reasons. The youngster wasn't particularly playing bad but with nothing happening in the midfield for Southampton, Claude Puel took the decision to replace Hesketh.

The 20-year-old shouldn't be disheartened and hopefully he uses it as a learning experience.

Second half action

Ward-Prowse had the first chance of the second period, as he attempted to beat Goresh from long range, forcing a good save to the goalkeeper's right.

The away side enjoyed most of the ball for the following ten minutes but failed to create any clear cut chances. Both Redmond and Martina took aim from distance but neither tested the goalkeeper. 

Tadic tries and fails to break the deadlock. Photo: Getty

Hapoel then created the best opportunity of the second half, against the run of play, as Nwakaeme played a lovely through ball to Melikson but the captain could only drag his across goal to the outside of Forster's post.

The game then looked like it was going to swing in the hosts favour, as Yoshida’s poor clearance ran to Nwakaeme, who hit a poor shot wide from 20 yards. He had lots of time and space.

Martina picked the ball up once again down the right hand side but once again no-one was on the end of his searching ball into the box.

Hoban then forced Forster into his first save of the second half with a well-struck half volley, which the England man kept out easily. 

Southampton will be looking to subject Inter Milan to a third straight European defeat when the two sides meet in the next round of fixtures.