Southampton versus Burnley always had the feeling of a low-scoring affair, but the goalless draw nonetheless created a feeling of underwhelm for the St. Mary’s faithful – ushering fears of a campaign similar to the last one, rather than the top six pushes of yesteryear.
The match did spark to life, however, with the introduction of two summer signings from the bench in the 56th minute. While Danny Ings provided an extra slice of cutting edge in front of goal, albeit not enough to actually break the deadlock, Mohamed Elyounoussi impressed in a cameo performance as well.
In fact, the off-season arrival from FC Basel finished up with the joint-most created chances to his name of any Southampton player, tied with Ings on four, as a succession of corners met their targets but weren’t converted by team-mates waiting in the box.
And Elyounoussi almost scored himself, when a delicate pass from Ings allowed him a yard of space inside the box. But as the Norway international looked to cut inside, he found the imposing figure of James Tarkowski blocking his path.
Having included just two summer acquisitions in his starting XI, it’s clear Mark Hughes doesn’t want to rock the boat too much just yet and allow the new signings to truly bed into the side. But after such an uninspiring start to their first Premier League clash, until Ings and Elyounoussi injected some real excitement into it, the 24-year-old winger must surely start against Everton next weekend.
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