Southampton and West Bromwich Albion shared the spoils at St Mary's Stadium after a goalless draw of few chances.
Both sides had cause for optimism going into the clash, Ronald Koeman's men impressing in defeat against Liverpool and Alan Irvine's charges only denied a win by a late Sebastian Larsson goal for Sunderland on the opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League season. However, neither side did enough to deserve three points on the south coast in a tight affair as Koeman and Irvine continue to await their first top-flight triumph.
Shane Long was given a home debut off the bench against his former side, while West Brom's club-record acquisition Brown Ideye made his bow soon after, but they could not mark the occasion with a goal.
While Dusan Tadic impressed again in his maiden Barclays Premier League campaign and Ideye was denied one-on-one by Ben Foster, both sides had to settle for a point.
Just a minute had passed when the visitors had a penalty appeal waved away as captain Chris Brunt went down in the area, before Victor Anichebe turned the Northern Irishman's cross wide of Foster's goal.
Tadic crossed for fellow newcomer Graziano Pelle, who headed Southampton's first attempt wide of goal. It was Tadic who proved Southampton's main attacking outlet in the first half, while West Brom's lofted deliveries gave Fraser Forster plenty to do in the air on his home debut.
Graham Dorrans failed to cap his surging 28th-minute run with an accurate pass for the in-form Saido Berahino as both sides struggled to find a cutting edge in the attacking third.
A defensive mix-up between Foster and Andre Wisdom almost led to the opening goal of the game as Tadic nipped in to take advantage of confusion in the West Brom defence. His cross evaded Pelle before Foster made amends for his part in the error by keeping out a low drive from Tadic in the 35th minute.
Koeman introduced former Hawthorns striker Long at the break and Irvine brought on Ideye seven minutes into the second half. The travelling faithful thought the Nigeria forward had scored shortly before the hour, only to realise his header had rippled the side netting, with the former Dynamo Kiev striker later denied at point-blank range by Foster.
Ideye continued to look lively and almost got on the end of Dorrans' through-ball a minute from time in a lively finale but ultimately a winning goal proved elusive.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “We didn't have the quality to create a lot. I was disappointed by the level we had today in an offensive way. It is our first point and that is good but we need to play better. Last week we played better in a higher tempo. The first 45 minutes we built up too slowly and didn't surprise them in attack. I tried to change it but in the second half it still wasn't good.
“We are always trying to bring good players in. We could use another attacking player because on the wings, maybe we have a shortlist there. We look forward, but the team had a good attitude today. Little bit disappointed about the way we played today, but we got one point and that has to give us confidence for today.”
West Bromwich Albion head coach Alan Irvine: "Both teams had their spells when they controlled things. We came here knowing they were a good side and it was important our organisation was good when we didn't have possession. We perhaps didn't create enough when we did have the ball."
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|18 Oct 2014||v Sunderland (H)|
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|13 Sep 2014||v Newcastle (H)|
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|30 Aug 2014||v West Ham (A)|