Sergio Romero made a series of fine saves as Southampton and Manchester United played out a goalless draw at St Mary’s.
Saints should have gone ahead within five minutes when Eric Bailly was adjudged to have handled in the area, but United goalkeeper Romero saved Manolo Gabbiadini’s penalty.
Bailly’s sharp shot was stopped by Fraser Forster, as the United defender created his side’s best chance of the first half.
Southampton forced Romero to make multiple blocks after the break while Anthony Martial hit the post from 25 yards for the visitors.
With Jose Mourinho’s side guaranteed a sixth-place finish before kick-off and one eye firmly on next Wednesday’s Europa League final, it always looked like being a sedate affair on the south coast and that is how it turned out.
Southampton fans have only seen 37 goals at St Mary’s this season – only Old Trafford, with 36, has seen fewer Premier League goals in 2016-17.
Their terrible run in front of goal at St Mary’s continued – they have now gone 365 minutes without scoring at home – and suffered yet another miss from the penalty spot.
Romero pulled off a superb low save to stop Gabbiadini’s strike, as Southampton missed their third penalty in the past five games.
With speculation surrounding his future, Puel’s nerves would have been eased by a victory to tighten their grip on eighth spot.
His side host Stoke on the final day of the season on Sunday but could still finish as low as 11th. They are one point ahead of West Brom in ninth and Bournemouth in 10th. Leicester, who are three points behind in 11th, have a game in hand against Tottenham on Thursday.
But with a League Cup final appearance under his belt, the 55-year-old Puel could have done enough to earn another season at St Mary’s.