West Brom – Burnley delivered the first scoreless draw of the 2020-21 Premier League season on Monday, as the Baggies and Clarets battled with scoring chances at a real premium.
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Of the 46 games played before Monday’s affair at The Hawthorns, only seven games featured just a single goal scored. Dating back to last season, the PL hadn’t seen a scoreless draw in 61 games.
With their first point of the season, Burnley have climbed two places in the PL table, all the way up to 18th, and no longer occupy last place. West Brom, meanwhile, have two points of their own and sit just ahead of them in 17th.
1. Relegation candidates, confirmed: We’re barely 10 percent of the way into the season, but it’s looking a safer and safer bet that West Brom and Burnley will be two sides battling against relegation for the entirety of this Premier League season.
2. Burnley offer very little, again (re-post of a re-post of a re-post): Sean Dyche had some rather critical thoughts about Burnley’s ongoing inability — or, perhaps, refusal — to move in a more timely manner to sign new players and improve the squad prior to the closing of the transfer window. Until such a change occurs, Dyche’s words are probably worth revisiting regularly.
Burnley’s best — and perhaps only — scoring chance of the first half came in the 26th minute, but Sam Johnstone was up to the task of making a quick reaction save to keep the game scoreless. Ashley Barnes unleashed a powerful volley from six yards out, though he hit it into Johnstone’s chest.
In a rare and brief moment of attacking quality, West Brom thought they had taken a lead in the 37th minute when Karlan Grant headed home from Grady Diangana’s cross. However, upon video review, Grant was deemed to have been narrowly offside.
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Burnley survived not one, but two, goal-mouth scrambles in the span of 15 seconds in the 58th minute. Diangana fired first and force Nick Pope into a desperate save. The ball bounced around the six-yard box amid a sea of bodies before Branislav Ivanovic followed up with an effort from close range, only to have it blocked with an open net in sight. Conor Gallagher quickly put the ball back into the box for Darnell Furlong to redirect on goal for a third effort, which Pope dove to his right to palm away before a friendly yellow shirt finally booted it clear.
Johnstone was asked to make one more save in the 68th minute, and did he did just that to deny Ashley Barnes’ header from 10 yards out. Dwight McNeil provided the cross from the left flank and picked out Barnes superbly.