January 21, 2013
Mauricio Pochettino takes over a squad that is four points out of the relegation zone in 15th place.
Ian Walton/Getty Images

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) -- Southampton failed to convert a number of first-half chances as it was held to a 0-0 draw by Everton on Monday in the Premier League in new manager Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge.

Southampton outplayed the visitors for much of the game, but their finishing let them down during a bright early spell. Rickie Lambert had the best chances, but came closest when his free kick from 25 yards rattled the post.

Everton improved after the break but was held scoreless for the first time in 10 away games.

Pochettino was greeted with a warm reception by Southampton fans after taking over following the firing of Nigel Adkins.

"I think today we've done very well, we've created at least seven good chances to score,'' Pochettino said through an interpreter. "The only shame was that we didn't score any goals. ... We just needed that bit of more luck.''

Southampton is now four points out of the relegation zone in 15th place, while Everton remains in fifth, three points behind fourth-place Tottenham.

Lambert caused havoc for the Everton defense in the first half but lacked sharpness in his finishing. He had a header cleared off the line by a combination of Nikica Jelavic and Baines, and then headed wide from 12 yards after a pinpoint cross from Jason Puncheon.

"It was a good point but it's disappointing not to get all three,'' Lambert said. "Especially in the first half we played some really good football and I should have put at least one, maybe two away.''

Everton then nearly grabbed the opening goal after the break, with Marouane Fellaini twice being denied by Artur Boruc in quick succession.

"After the way we played in the first half I was frustrated,'' Everton manager David Moyes said. "In the second half we got good opportunities but we couldn't nick a goal.''

Bilbao snaps Spanish league skid with draw at Betis

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) -- Athletic Bilbao drew 1-1 at Real Betis Monday to end a three-game losing streak in the Spanish league.

Betis striker Ruben Castro opened the scoring in the second minute from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz rashly fouled Salva Sevilla disputing a ball on the edge of the area.

Betis continued to dominate the opening stages of the match at Benito Villamarin stadium until Aritz Aduriz deftly scooped Ander Herrera's through pass over goalkeeper Adrian San Miguel to level in the 41st.

Bilbao created more chances the rest of the way, with Adrian making several saves to secure a point for the hosts.

"We found ourselves a goal behind practically from the start, and that changed our plans,'' Aduriz said. "But we knew how to react and managed to pull even. I think we did enough to get the win, but the ball didn't want to go in.''

Aduriz and Castro have both scored 12 goals through 20 rounds this season, placing them joint fourth on the league's leading scorers list.

Betis strengthened its hold on fourth place and Spain's last Champions League spot. Bilbao moved up into 15th, four points from the relegation zone.

"The team showed that we are upset with our current situation and that we are trying as hard as we can to change it, but we just couldn't get the win,'' Aduriz said.

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