Blackburn Rovers produced another battling performance as they matched promotion-chasing Southampton and held them to a goalless draw.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium despite an open and entertaining encounter at Ewood Park that puts Rovers another point towards safety.

John Eustace's side were good value for their share of the spoils too after restricting Southampton to very little. The away side had plenty of possession but struggled to turn that into meaningful opportunities.

Joel Aribo came closest in the first half, flicking a header onto the crossbar. Jack Stephens' cross found him in the area but it bounced back into play and to safety.

Rovers posed a real threat on the counter-attack but were missing the final pass or finish. Sam Szmodics tried to lob Gavin Bazunu from 30 yards whilst Tyrhys Dolan forced the Saints 'keeper into action.

The best opportunity of the game did fall to Southampton and but for Callum Brittain, Rovers might have lost. The defender brilliantly blocked Kyle Walker-Peters' goal-bound effort on the line with Rovers' goalkeeper beaten.

Joe Rankin-Costello then went down the other end and could've won the match but Bazunu foiled his effort at the near post.

In truth, a point apiece was a fair outcome. This was another step in the right direction for Eustace's side as they moved on to 46 points and up to 16th, four points above the relegation zone.

Despite going off with a hamstring injury on Monday, Harry Pickering was passed fit to start meaning Rovers named an unchanged team.

There was little surprise at the pattern of the game, Southampton came to dominate possession and Eustace was quite content to let them do so. 

The game plan was clear, play in a mid-block with an emphasis on pressing in the right moments. Southampton were allowed to knock it around the back and halfway line but once the ball advanced, Rovers would strike.

Saints didn't move the ball quick enough to create their openings but on the rare occasion they sped up the tempo, they created chances.

Adam Armstrong should've scored on his first return to Ewood Park, getting ahead of his marker but somehow not connecting properly with David Brooks' cutback.

Aribo also hit the bar with a looping header after being picked out unmarked by the roaming Stephens. These were rare sightings of goal for the visitors though with Rovers restricting them well.

At the other end, the space surrendered by Southampton left them vulnerable to the counter-attack. On multiple occasions, Rovers won the ball back but either failed to make the final pass or made the wrong decision.

Szmodics came closest to finding the net as he attempted to lob Gavin Bazunu after Jan Bednarek gave possession away. His effort was just over the bar though.

Rovers were getting even more joy on the break as the second half became stretched. Tyrhys Dolan drove at the defence but Bazunu made a decent stop before the winger failed to pick out Szmodics in the box from a promising position.

Southampton didn't get their first sight of goal in the second half until the 65th minute. Dom Hyam gave the ball away trying to play out of the back but Che Adams curled his shot just wide.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium but Rovers continued to work themselves into promising areas. A brilliant ball from Sondre Tronstad found Szmodics but he opted to shoot rather than pass to Dilan Markanday and the effort was blocked.

Southampton rallied and applied plenty of pressure in the final 10 minutes. They had the game's best opportunity when Walker-Peters danced his way into a goal-scoring position only for Brittain to brilliantly block the ball on the line with Aynsley Pears beaten.

Rankin-Costello then tested Bazunu after a lung-busting run but the Southampton goalkeeper stood up to the test.

That proved to be the last real action of the game with neither side able to make the breakthrough despite an entertaining affair.