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Football | Barclays Premier League

Pochettino's Saints debut ends in draw



Mauricio Pochettino's first match as manager of Southampton ended in a goalless draw at home to Everton at St Mary's on Monday.

The result moved Southampton four points clear of the bottom three in the English Premier League and left Everton three points adrift of the top four and a place in next season's Champions League.

Pochettino was appointed after Southampton, once a byword for managerial stability sacked Nigel Adkins on Friday just two days after the Englishman had overseen a draw away to European champions Chelsea.

Adkins joined Southampton from Scunthorpe in 2010 and took the Saints, then a third-tier club, into the Premier League with back-to-back promotions.

His exit as manager came with Southampton, who struggled at the start of the season, in the middle of an encouraging run of results which had seen them lose just twice in their last 12 league matches.

Pochettino, who does not speak English, was brought in by Saints executive chairman Nicola Cortese despite having been sacked by Espanyol in November with the Spanish side bottom of La Liga.

Saints dominated the first half but failed to score.

Jason Puncheon's low shot was deflected just wide of the post, before Ramirez forced a smart save from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 13th minute.

Rickie Lambert beat Howard with a 25-yard free-kick only for the ball to hit the keeper's right post and later on the striker's header was cleared off the line by Nikica Jelavic and Leighton Baines.

Lambert then powered another header just wide.

Everton came into the match in the second half with Marouane Fellaini twice denied by Saints keeper Artur Boruc in quick succession.

Toffees substitute Victor Anichebe made his presence felt after replacing the injured Seamus Coleman just before the hour.

Anichebe powered through the Saints defence and squared the ball to Jelavic only for the Croatian to miss his kick from just a few yards out.

Nigeria forward Anichebe was then denied from close range by a fine one-handed save from Boruc.

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