Romero saves penalty as Saints & Man Utd ends goalless

Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has made just two Premier League appearances for Manchester United this season

Sergio Romero made a series of fine saves as Southampton and Manchester United played out a goalless draw at St Mary’s.

Saints should have gone ahead within five minutes when Eric Bailly was adjudged to have handled in the area, but United goalkeeper Romero saved Manolo Gabbiadini’s penalty.

Bailly’s sharp shot was stopped by Fraser Forster, as the United defender created his side’s best chance of the first half.

Southampton forced Romero to make multiple blocks after the break while Anthony Martial hit the post from 25 yards for the visitors.

With Jose Mourinho’s side guaranteed a sixth-place finish before kick-off and one eye firmly on next Wednesday’s Europa League final, it always looked like being a sedate affair on the south coast and that is how it turned out.

Saints’ stuttering home form

Claude Puel<!–

Claude Puel’s side have won six league games at St Mary’s this season

Southampton fans have only seen 37 goals at St Mary’s this season – only Old Trafford, with 36, has seen fewer Premier League goals in 2016-17.

Their terrible run in front of goal at St Mary’s continued – they have now gone 365 minutes without scoring at home – and suffered yet another miss from the penalty spot.

Romero pulled off a superb low save to stop Gabbiadini’s strike, as Southampton missed their third penalty in the past five games.

With speculation surrounding his future, Puel’s nerves would have been eased by a victory to tighten their grip on eighth spot.

His side host Stoke on the final day of the season on Sunday but could still finish as low as 11th. They are one point ahead of West Brom in ninth and Bournemouth in 10th. Leicester, who are three points behind in 11th, have a game in hand against Tottenham on Thursday.

But with a League Cup final appearance under his belt, the 55-year-old Puel could have done enough to earn another season at St Mary’s.

Southampton<!–

Mourinho sticks to his word

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United did not finish outside of the top three in the Premier League era, but since his departure in 2013 United have not finished inside the top three.

It will also be the first time that current boss Mourinho has finished lower than third in his managerial career.

Mourinho made clear in recent weeks that his focus is firmly on winning the Europa League and securing Champions League qualification next season.

Following consecutive league defeats by Arsenal and Tottenham, he made four changes against Saints and had youngsters Demetri Mitchell and Scott McTominay on the substitutes’ bench.

His side were once again lacklustre against Southampton and they would have slipped to a third consecutive league defeat had it not been for Argentine goalkeeper Romero.

One downside for Mourinho was that the sight of midfielder Marouane Fellaini limping off after 75 minutes.

De Gea will play for Man Utd again – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho<!–

Jose Mourinho has been highly critical of Manchester United’s fixture list this season

While Romero will play in goal in the Europa League final, Mourinho also confirmed that third-choice goalkeeper Joel Pereira will make his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Injured David de Gea did not travel with the squad to Southampton, but when asked about the Spaniard’s future, Mourinho said the 26-year-old will play for the club again.

“He’ll play the first match against LA Galaxy in pre-season in Los Angeles,” he said.

“I hope to play Sergio in the final and hopefully we don’t have problems with the keepers. David is top of the world and obviously we want to keep the top in the world.”

Man of the match – Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero<!–

Second-choice goalkeeper Romero has conceded six goals in 17 appearances for Manchester United this season

What they said

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Puel rues ‘many opportunities’ wasted

Southampton manager Claude Puel said: “We can feel shame after this game because we had many opportunities in the second half.

“We had two different halves – the first one was without intensity and it was very difficult after the penalty because that would have given us the confidence.

“The second half was interesting as there was quality and many chances without a good reward.

“But this point is important for us in the table.”

When asked about his future, Puel said: “I think it’s important to stay focused on the last game and to finish strong. After the last game it is normal to have a discussion about the season.”

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Mourinho praises Romero’s ‘great save’

One shot on target for Man Utd – stats you need to know

  • Manchester United have drawn 15 league games this season – their most ever in a Premier League season and most in a league campaign since 1991-92 (also 15).
  • Southampton had six shots on target – only Tottenham (seven on Sunday) have had more in a match against Manchester United this season in all competitions.
  • However, that included a missed penalty which means Saints have now missed their last three Premier League spot kicks, after Dusan Tadic v Hull and Shane Long v Middlesbrough.
  • Sergio Romero became the eighth different United keeper to save a Premier League penalty, and first since David de Gea against Everton in October 2014.
  • Southampton have now gone four top-flight home games without a goal for the first time in their history.
  • Even if United win their remaining game, this will be their lowest tally of wins in a single Premier League season (currently 17). They last had fewer in 1990-91 (16 wins).

What’s next?

Southampton host Stoke City on the final day of the season on Sunday while Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford (both 15:00 BST).

Jose Mourinho’s side then travel to Stockholm for the Europa League final against Ajax on Wednesday, 24 May (19:45 BST).

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 0, Manchester United 0.

Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Manchester United 0.

Foul by Nathan Redmond (Southampton).

Eric Bailly (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Manchester United. Ander Herrera tries a through ball, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.

Maya Yoshida (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Eric Bailly (Manchester United) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dusan Tadic.

Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).

Ander Herrera (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Oriol Romeu.

Dusan Tadic (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

Substitution, Southampton. Sofiane Boufal replaces James Ward-Prowse.

Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Marouane Fellaini because of an injury.

Maya Yoshida (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Attempt missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Marouane Fellaini.

Attempt blocked. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a cross.

Dusan Tadic (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution, Southampton. Jérémy Pied replaces Cédric Soares because of an injury.

Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Juan Mata because of an injury.

Delay in match Cédric Soares (Southampton) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

Substitution, Manchester United. Michael Carrick replaces Axel Tuanzebe.

Substitution, Southampton. Jay Rodriguez replaces Manolo Gabbiadini.

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Phil Jones.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Sergio Romero.

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Attempt blocked. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Jack Stephens (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

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