West Brom 0 – 0 Burnley. Filip Krovinovic almost gave hosts West Brom the lead inside three minutes but he dragged a shot wide of the right post, before debutant Karlan Grant had a goal disallowed for offside. West Brom and Burnley played out the first goalless draw in the Premier League this season, with both teams still searching for a first win.
But Burnley had the better chances at The Hawthorns on Monday – Chris Wood crashing a header against the crossbar and Ashley Barnes forcing keeper Sam Johnstone into a good save in the second half.
Matheus Pereira’s volley was kept out at the near post by Clarets’ keeper Nick Pope and West Brom defender Branislav Ivanovic also came close as both teams pushed for a winner.
The result means Burnley have their first point but they remain in the bottom three after four games, with promoted West Brom ahead by one point. West Brom boss Slaven Bilic made six changes to his side and gave a debut to new striker Grant, who joined from Huddersfield for £15m last week.
Grant was busy in the first half. He caused trouble for defenders Kevin Long and James Tarkowski and had the ball in the back of the net when he nodded in Grady Diangana’s cross, before the offside flag went up.
There was also a first start for three-time Premier League winner Ivanovic – who last featured in England’s top flight for Chelsea in December 2016.
The defender almost got on the end of a flick-on from a set-piece in the first half but Long was there to make the block, and the 36-year-old Serb was then denied from close range by Pope in the second half after Jake Livermore’s shot had rebounded out.
Ivanovic’s presence in both boxes was evident but West Brom lacked quality overall in the final third and were unable to test Pope enough.
The Baggies defended well, particularly in the first half, but while their performance showed plenty of promise, it was an opportunity missed before facing two other teams in the bottom five – Brighton and Fulham – in their next two away games. Burnley will surely have come away frustrated they were not able to leave The Hawthorns with all three points.
Both teams had chances in the first half and were well organised in defence, but as the game wore on it was the visitors who created the better opportunities.
Barnes failed to score from his three efforts on target and that was largely down to some smart saves from Johnstone, who reacted well to his half-volley in the first half and clawed away his goal-bound header later on.
The Burnley forward was given service all match by left-winger Dwight McNeil, who signed a new long-term contract last week and once again proved his worth to Sean Dyche’s side.
McNeil’s deliveries caused problems throughout for West Brom, though it was Ashley Westwood’s cross that Wood headed on to the bar, as the Clarets’ best chance of the game went begging.
The visitors continued to push for a winner as the match opened up in the final 20 minutes, but Johnstone remained resilient in the West Brom goal.
Burnley now face tough opposition as they look to add to their single point, hosting Tottenham and Chelsea in their next two fixtures before a trip to Brighton.
A long wait for nothing – the best of the stats
- West Brom 0-0 Burnley ended the longest wait for a goalless draw from the start of a campaign in Premier League history (47th game).
- This is the third time Burnley have started a Premier League season without winning one of their opening four matches (also in 2014-15 and 2018-19).
- West Brom have failed to win one of their first five league games for the first time since 2004-05.
- Since Burnley’s return to the Premier League in 2016-17, only Southampton (16) have had more goalless draws in the competition (13).
- The Baggies made six changes to their starting XI for this game – the first time since December 2013 against West Ham (also six) they have changed as many players from one Premier League fixture to another.
- At 36 years 240 days old, West Brom’s Ivanovic became the oldest outfield player to make his debut for a Premier League team since striker Peter Crouch for Burnley against Southampton in February 2019 (38 years three days).
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic speaking to Sky Sports: “We gave everything. I told them after the game we were looking for three points, but they should build on this. We created a few chances – more than enough to score. They also had a couple, to be fair. A draw was probably a fair result. It’s a clean sheet and a point.
“Let’s be positive and build on this in a positive way. We knew these are the games – I respect Burnley a lot – where you really need to win, or at least not lose. If we want to stay up then we have to win these types of games.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche speaking to BBC Sport: “I spoke to the team before the game about form. We looked more like us. We had very good chances. West Brom had one chance towards the end and you wonder: ‘Should we have won the game?’
“I won’t question why they [Burnley’s strikers] didn’t get a goal. They were in those areas trying to score.”
West Brom travel to Brighton for their next Premier League match on Monday, 26 October (17:30 GMT kick-off), while Burnley welcome Spurs to Turf Moor on the same day (20:00).
Source – BBC News