Saturday 1 October 2016

Mane injury blow as saints draw blank

Watford 0-0 Southampton

Published 24/08/2015 | 02:30

Watford and Southampton are still searching for their first Premier League wins of the season after playing out a scrappy goalless draw at Vicarage Road.

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Odion Ighalo and Etienne Capoue each had an excellent chance to snatch all three points for the Hornets but both failed to convert from close range as the teams were forced to settle for a point.

Southampton duo Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama, linked with moves away to Manchester United and Tottenham respectively, both started the fixture but Mane left the field through injury just 25 minutes into the first half before being replaced by Shane Long who shook off pre-match doubts over a knee injury.

It means Watford have now drawn all three of their opening matches of the campaign while Southampton find themselves in the relegation zone after two draws and a defeat.

Ronald Koeman succeeded Quique Sanchez Flores in charge at Valencia in 2007 but it is the Watford boss now looking to emulate Koeman, with the Dutchman showing the way in progressing a recently promoted Premier League side, while also bringing European football to the south coast.

How Saints cope with the extra demands of the Europa League is likely to be a crucial factor in whether they can repeat last season's success and this offered an early indication of the difficulties ahead, coming three days after Thursday night's first leg draw at home to FC Midtjylland.

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