Daily Echo:

Saints were left to rue missed chances as they played out a goalless draw at Bournemouth.

Though the 0-0 draw at the Vitality Stadium represents a decent result, it could have been even better with Saints having most of the opportunities, especially late on as both Stuart Armstrong and Manolo Gabbiadini blew good openings.

Bournemouth started on the front foot and in the first minute caused Saints a scare as Lewis Cook’s run through the middle ended with Josh King picking out Adam Smith with a cut back but he fluffed his shot.

It was a terrific atmosphere early on with both sides producing some forward thinking football and setting the tone with a few crunching tackles.

As the tempo settled the game plans became clearer with Bournemouth trying to use their pace and run the ball while Saints were trying to get it out wide and into the corners for the full backs and Nathan Redmond and Moi Elyounoussi to chase down and try and create.

There was a long break in play as Charlie Austin received treatment after a clash of heads with Nathan Ake but he was able to continue as Hughes swapped Redmond to the right wing and Elyounoussi to the left to try and get the latter into the game.

It was Austin who had the first real chance for Saints on 35 minutes.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg chipped a nice pass over the head of Ake which had Austin homing in on goal. He opted to try and take it around the advancing Asmir Begovic but a heavy touch saw the ball run out of play.

Hojbjerg had a go himself just before the break but his half volley from 20 yards was straight at Begovic.

Once again Bournemouth started well with Josh King flicking a header from Jefferson Lerma’s right wing cross narrowly wide only moments into the second period.

Ings tried to make something happen for Saints on 56 minutes as he cut in from the left and hit a right footed shot but Begovic was able to make a fairly comfortable save.

Cherries really should have taken the lead on 63 minutes as Callum Wilson got to the left by-line and found King with a pull back but he side footed first time wide of the target.

Hojbjerg, who had a new central midfield partner with Mario Lemina hobbling off after jarring his left knee to be replaced by Stuart Armstrong, showed great technique again six minutes later, bringing down a half cleared cross on his chest before volleying goalwards with Begovic having to turn over the bar.

There was a let off at the other end as Ake rose highest to meet a corner but from eight yards out he put his header straight at the grateful Alex McCarthy.

Hughes made a double change on 78 minutes replacing both of his strikers with Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini coming on to try and find a winner.

Long almost had an instant impact as he hit a shot from an acute angle that Begovic blocked at his near post.

Armstrong should have scored a winner with six minutes remaining as Long headed back to him from Cedric’s looping right wing cross. The midfielder brought the ball down on his chest and just had to finish from six yards out but produced an air shot.

Gabbiadini had a glorious chance to bag the three points for Saints deep into stoppage time when he just had to get a header on target from the edge of the six yard box with Begovic having come for a Redmond cross and missed it but the Italian headed over the bar and the game ended goalless.