Mauricio Pellegrino’s first game in charge of Saints ended in frustration as his side were left to rue missed opportunities as they were held to an opening day goalless draw by Swansea.

It made it six games in a row without a goal for Saints at St Mary’s – a total of 545 minutes.

Saints were applauded off the pitch after an attacking display which should have yielded a win against an average Swansea side but it underlined the issues facing Pellegrino this season.

Saints got off to a flying start and came close to taking the lead after just two minutes.

Ryan Bertrand whipped in a dangerous inswinging corner that was met at the near post by the darting run of Manolo Gabbiadini, who got just ahead of Leroy Fer.

Gabbiadini’s glanced header from six yards out clipped the top of the bar and went over.

If that was unfortunate then just two minutes later Saints were wasteful as they spurned a golden opportunity.

Bertrand was heavily involved again with a great overlapping run down the left and a perfect cutback to Dusan Tadic in the six yard box.

Tadic should have scored but put his first time side footed wide.

Swansea had been on the back foot for ten minutes but had a great chance themselves as Jordan Ayew lifted in a cross from the right which found Tammy Abraham ahead of Jack Stephens.

He had virtually a free header from ten yards out but steered it just wide of the post.

Nathan Redmond picked up Saints’ first booking of the season as he tried to prevent Lukasz Fabianski from clearing the ball out of his hands in the area.

Saints were left frustrated again on 20 minutes as Redmond cut back from the left by-line to James Ward-Prowse in space 12 yards out.

He hit a first time shot that deflected off of Alfie Mawson and over the bar. There were a few appeals for handball but referee Mike Jones wasn’t interested.

Redmond had a go himself four minutes later but his effort from range flashed over the bar before Ward-Prowse measured an effort from 20 yards which Fabianski fielded diving to his left.

Swansea made a clear shift in tactics midway through the first half. Having been fairly open, which suited Saints, they dropped very deep, getting ten men behind the ball and trying to make themselves harder to pick apart.

Oriol Romeu was booked for jumping into a header leading with his arm, which knocked over Tom Carroll, but it was a harsh one as it looked worse than it was.

Saints started to pile the pressure on again and Maya Yoshida went close with an acrobatic half volley from eight yards out after Stephens had cushioned a header back towards his central defensive partner.

That turned out to be the final opening of a half which Saints had dominated but couldn’t find a breakthrough, despite numerous chances.

Swansea began the second half on the front foot and Saints were grateful to Cedric Soares for making a block from Abraham’s shot before Fer blasted a follow up across goal and wide.

Gabbadini responded at the other end as he tried to curl the ball into the far corner with his left foot but it went narrowly past the post.

The Swans were making a better of fist of things in the second period.

Saints were not really pressing Swansea’s persistent attempts to play out from the back and they were briefly growing in confidence as an attacking force with Abraham at the heart of it.

Having already missed chances in the game, Saints needed to find a way through before any element of frustration set in around St Mary’s.

Swansea started to abandon their attacking policy and reverted to sitting deep. Saints were dominating possession and getting a lot of the ball in and around the area but doing anything decisive with it was proving tricky.

Pellegrino made his first change on 69 minutes in an attempt to try and make something happen with Charlie Austin replacing Gabbiadini in attack.

Saints won a series of corners and were desperately trying to make the breakthrough.

Steven Davis tried a half volleyed shot from the edge of the area that was well struck but looped over via a deflection.

Sofiane Boufal was introduced on 71 minutes coming on for Ward-Prowse.

Swansea responded by bringing on Jay Fulton for Leon Britton. It hardly seemed to be an attacking change which meant they were obviously going to be camping in aiming to keep a clean sheet for the remainder of the match.

Daily Echo:

Saints did have time on the ball a little deeper and Tadic tried to make the most of it with a fearsome shot from 25 yards out that moved in the air before Fabianski dived to his right to turn it wide.

They had a fantastic opening on 79 minutes as Davis crossed from the left, Romeu flicked the ball on to the far post and Yoshida had a free header just inside the six yard box at the far post but he put over the bar.

Swansea made a second change with Kyle Bartley replacing Abraham. It was another defensive change which was booed by the travelling support.

Another well worked move from Saints ended in frustration as Tadic side footed over.

Saints were forced into a final substitution four minutes from time as Bertrand limped off injured to be replaced by Sam McQueen while Oli McBurnie came on for Wayne Routledge for Swansea.

Daily Echo:

The fourth official held up the board to show three minutes of added time to a huge roar from the St Mary’s crowd desperate to see their side turn their dominance throughout the game into a deserved winning goal.

Yoshida tried to deliver just that as he curled a 20 yard free kick around the outside of the wall but ruffled the net before Austin’s effort from a tight angle had the same end result as the game ended goalless.