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Jussi Jaaskelainen rolled back the years with a series of stunning saves as West Ham United held Southampton to a 0-0 draw at St Mary's Stadium.
The home side created the better chances throughout the 90 minutes, but were unable to find a way past the impressive 38-year-old on Sunday.
Pablo Osvaldo was the first to be frustrated by the Finn in the first half when the veteran goalkeeper denied him with a point-blank save, and Southampton continued to look the more likely to score after the break with Rickie Lambert hitting the post, and Jaaskelainen reacting well to a half-volley from Morgan Schneiderlin.
Mauricio Pochettino handed starts to Nathaniel Clyne and Jay Rodriguez, while Lambert made his 200th appearance for Southampton. Ravel Morrison made his first Barclays Premier League start for Sam Allardyce's side at the expense of the injured Stewart Downing (leg).
After a slow opening it was West Ham who came closest to making the breakthrough in the seventh minute. Mohamed Diame collected the ball on the right-hand side of the box and bustled past Luke Shaw before forcing Artur Boruc to parry away his drilled effort at the near post.
Osvaldo was then denied his first Premier League goal when he drew a superb point-blank save from Jaaskelainen after good work from Rodriguez to centre from the left.
With both teams struggling to create clear-cut chances, Lambert will feel he could have done better in the 23rd minute when his attempted pass to Osvaldo deflected back into his path on the edge of the area. However, his first-time volley was tame and easily held by Jaaskelainen.
Morrison nearly marked his first Premier League start with a goal five minutes before half-time, but his 20-yard effort curled wide.
Southampton nearly made the ideal start to the second half in the 48th minute when Victor Wanyama's dipping half-volley was tipped over the crossbar. Lambert then came closest to opening the scoring from the resulting corner when he headed Adam Lallana's delivery against the post.
The hosts continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock, and Schneiderlin's close-range effort rebounded into the air where Osvaldo tried an audacious overhead kick that was headed away by Winston Reid.
Jaaskelainen once more came to West Ham's rescue in the 67th minute. The lively Rodriguez crossed from the right and Schneiderlin's half-volley forced the goalkeeper into a superb reaction save to his left.
Lambert was the next to be thwarted by the West Ham keeper. Rodriguez sprinted through the middle and laid into the path of the England international, who opened up to a curl his effort towards the far corner where Jaaskelainen produced another tremendous save.
West Ham almost made Southampton pay for their profligacy when the unmarked James Collins blazed over the bar from eight yards.
Southampton head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "We did enough to win this match today and if we carry on playing in this way I think we will have better results in the future. We always play in an adventurous manner, we always want to go on the attack and get in the opponent's half but at the same time we need to counter that by being balanced in other areas.
"We can't reproach our players because they did enough to score but you have to say that their goalkeeper was outstanding today. It's frustrating that we haven’t scored because we are creating goalscoring chances which is the hardest part, but that's football and if we keep playing like this we will score goals.
"We have a stock of young English footballers here that was started by Nicola [Cortese] some years ago and we want to continue with this philosophy of providing talented English footballers and why not become a solid structure that keeps on providing great players for the national side."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "We could have won it at the end when the chance [James Collins] had was probably our best chance of the game. Unfortunately for him it's fell to the centre half. At the end of the day, that far out he should at least hit the target but overall [it was] a decent performance.
"Defensively we showed how good we are, I think we have only conceded one goal in four games, but we just can't find the back of the net. Three games without a goal is my concern – it's not as if we haven't created any chances or good opportunities in and around the final third today to try and score, but it's just eluding us at the moment.
"When a golden chance falls that late in the game you want to put it in and walk away with all three points."
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|01 Mar 2014||v Liverpool (H)|