Three things we learned from Southampton's 0-0 draw with Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Southampton have continued their unbeaten streak with a 0-0 draw away to Hapoel Be’er Sheva. It was another clean sheet for Claude Puel’s men and that will encourage the Frenchman, as it is crucial to have a solid base to build on. In attack, they will have to improve, but they are still not full strength with Sofiane Boufal yet to make his debut for the Saints. In Europe, the winning formula is to win your home matches and if Southampton can do that, a draw in this game isn’t an awful result. Over the next few pages, here are three things we learned on Thursday.
Puel is taking this competition seriously
In the past, English clubs have seen the Europa League as an unwanted distraction and have paid no respect to the competition. However, some Premier League sides are unlikely to ever qualify for the Champions League, making this competition the next best thing. It provides an opportunity to compete with some illustrious European clubs and is a lot of fun for supporters as they travel to some great cities.
Southampton failed to qualify last season, but it looks like Claude Puel will be playing strong sides this year. They will need to manage the squad accordingly, which is why Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand and Charlie Austin stayed at home. However, there was still a good team selected for the match in Israel and a number of first team regulars were involved, including Nathan Redmond and Virgil van Dijk. Saints have given themselves a great opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages and if Puel continues to select strong line-ups, they should have no difficulty finishing the job.