BURNLEY climbed off the foot of the table by claiming their first point of the season – as the Pay Per View audience were treated to the Premier League’s first goalless draw of the campaign.
The 46 matches before had served up 171 goals between them, but no such luck for those who decided to stump up £14.95 to watch this turgid affair instead of Pointless.
Still, at least Sean Dyche’s Burnley are no longer pointless, but neither he or West Brom boss Slaven Bilic will be happy to see another chance of a win pass the by.
Bilic knew he needed to shake things up and made six changes from the team which performed so badly in defeat to Southampton before the international break.
That included new £15million striker Karlan Grant – and in the opening period the Baggies were the ones showing all the early threat.
Filip Krovinovic saw a third minute effort from the edge of the area deflect narrowly wide of the post, before Grant was just unable to get a proper contact with a half chance.
But on 19 minutes Grant’s hesitancy denied him a debut goal when he seemed to pause when put through on goal, allowing Kevin Long to pressure him into shooting high.
Burnley had been poor in the opening quarter of the match but they came to life on 26 minutes when Ashley Barnes was left holding his head after keeper Sam Johnstone somehow beat away his fierce drive for corner.
Grant then thought he had open his account for the Baggies as he planted a header into the far corner, only to be denied from a tight but correct offside call.
You could sense the importance of the result for both teams and the managers in the second half with orders constantly being barked out and tackles flying in.
Quality was in short supply, though, until Grady Diangana’s brilliant 58th minute turn set himself up for a shot which Nick Pope somehow kept out.
Branislav Ivanovic’s follow up effort was blocked en route to goal by James Tarkowski and the frantic scramble finally came to an end when Pope plunged to his right to save from Matheus Pereira.
Having escaped, Burnley suddenly pressed their foot down and five minutes later Chris Wood spurned a golden chance to score when he was picked out by Ashley Westwood’s cross but could only divert his header onto the top of the bar.
Then for the second time in the match Barnes was left screaming in frustration at seeing Johnstone deny him, this time with a fine stop to beat away his far post header.
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