Southampton wasted a series of chances to put Aston Villa under more pressure near the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table as the two sides played out a goalless draw at Villa Park.
Rickie Lambert, Steven Davis and Adam Lallana all failed to make the most of good opportunities for the visitors whose winless run stretched to three matches.
The result leaves Southampton eighth, while Villa, who had lost their previous four outings, are five points clear of the bottom three.
Southampton controlled the early stages with Lambert squandering two good chances inside the opening five minutes.
First he headed Luke Shaw's cross straight into the arms of Brad Guzan before seeing his effort from Davis's cut-back deflected wide by Nathan Baker's challenge.
Former Villa man Davis was involved again in the 32nd minute, seeing his shot from 10 yards well parried by Guzan after James Ward-Prowse's cross had rebounded off Lambert.
Villa finally showed some attacking intent a minute before the break with Ryan Bertrand's dangerous cross deflecting just wide off Dejan Lovren.
Karim El Ahmadi found some space on the edge of the box four minutes after the interval, but his effort was comfortably held by Artur Boruc, back in the Saints side after recovering from a back problem.
Lallana missed a good chance to break the deadlock six minutes later as once again Shaw proved a threat down the left-hand side.
After breaking clear, the left-back squared the ball for his fellow England international but Lallana got the ball stuck under his feet with just Guzan to beat and the chance went begging.
In a rare Villa attack, Marc Albrighton stung the palms of Boruc from 25 yards before the visitors had penalty appeals waved away by referee Lee Mason 10 minutes from time when Nathaniel Clyne's cross struck the arm of Bertrand.
It summed up a frustrating day for Pochettino's side, who were left to rue not securing their seventh away win of the season.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "To play the way we did in the second half, against a good Southampton side, I cannot fault the effort.
"The lads deserve enormous credit and with their energy and desire I couldn't be prouder. Our goal difference is pretty good, so we'll probably need one more win [to be safe from relegation].
"After the events of this week, that performance shows evidence of the players' commitment."
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino: "I thought we did enough to win the game but we are lacking luck and clinical edge in front of goal.
"We started off well, had 70% possession but are not taking chances.
"We are creating them and look like a team fighting to win the Premier League so I am happy with the effort."
|11 May 2014||v Spurs (A)|
|26 Apr 2014||v Swansea (A)|
|03 May 2014||v Hull (H)|
|07 May 2014||v Man City (A)|
|24 Nov 2014||v Aston Villa (H)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Burnley (A)|