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Stoke and Saints showed why they are in a relegation tug after a bore draw.

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Southampton and Stoke City remain embroiled in the relegation dogfight after playing out a goalless draw at St Mary’s.
The stalemate means Saints have picked up just one win in their last 16 Premier League games, and have not triumphed in any of their last eight home matches, while Stoke have only picked up one victory in their last 10 top-flight encounters.

The match was very cagey in the opening stages although Mame Biram Diouf was fortunate when he appeared to stamp on Wesley Hoedt and the referee did not see the incident.

When the two players went up for an aerial challenge moments later, Diouf came off worse and he had to be substituted with what appeared to be an injury to his left arm.

In a tepid first period Konstantinos Stafylidis lashed an ambitious effort high and wide for the Potters while at the other end Bruno Martins Indi did well to block John Sims’ effort.

The best chance of the first half came just before the interval when Alex McCarthy turned Badou Ndiaye’s header away for a corner.

After the break Jack Butland kept out Sims’ weak shot while at the other end Peter Crouch fired the ball high and wide.

Crouch then flicked the ball on to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who should have broken the deadlock, only for his intended chip to be gathered by McCarthy.

When play swung to the other end Butland made an outstanding save to keep out Cedric Soares’ drive from the edge of the area.

Saints went close to snatching a crucial victory when substitute Sofiane Boufal headed wide after Nathan Redmond had picked him out with a fine cross before Soares’ long-range effort was gathered at the second attempt by Butland.