West Brom missed out on the chance to grab their first Premier League win of the season as they were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Burnley.
Burnley arrived at The Hawthorns without a league point and they presented the Baggies with an excellent opportunity to make amends for their poor performance at Southampton last time out.
Unfortunately, this was a chance that Albion did not take, despite Bilic handing new signing Karlan Grant his first start in a Baggies shirt.
Even though West Brom didn’t get their first win, there are plenty of things to take away from the game that perhaps show some more positive aspects of the performance.
Here are three things we learned from West Brom’s 0-0 draw with Burnley.
1.) The jury is still out on Grant
Grant’s eventual signing last week provided a boost for everyone associated with West Brom and he made a positive impact on his debut. The 23-year-old was just inches away from bagging himself a debut goal but he was just caught offside after heading home Grady Diangana’s cross. Grant was lively in the first half but lacked energy in the second before he was replaced by Callum Robinson. His fitness levels will be questionable after not playing for three months but if he gives more performances like he did in the first half, he should be a success at the Hawthorns. But like we say, the jury is still out, we will need to see more of the English forward to judge him properly, but we’ve seen worse debuts.
2.) Albion can defend
Monday’s game gave the Baggies their first Premier League clean sheet of the season. Yes, it was against Burnley who haven’t exactly been blowing sides away this season. But it is still a clean sheet and it was mostly down to West Brom being good, rather than Burnley being poor. Sam Johnstone made some excellent saves to keep the scores level and Branislav Ivanovic was arguably man of the match, adding a calm head to an inexperienced defence. It wasn’t perfect, Albion were saved by the woodwork on occasion, but Slaven Bilic’s side needed to improve on their defensive performance last time out at Southampton and they definitely did that.
3.) West Brom still need to learn to take their chances
On another night Albion could’ve put four past a poor Burnley side. Filip Krovinovic, Ivanovic, Grant and Diangana all went close for the Baggies, but an inspired performance from Nick Pope in the Burnley net kept things level. This sums up West Brom’s season so far in terms of not taking chances. They should have taken the chances and scored the goals to get them the win. But more broadly, this was a very poor Burnley side who offered very little in terms of attacking threat. These are the games you look back on at the end of the season and realise that missed opportunities like these could’ve kept you up. If West Brom want to stay in the Premier League, these are the games they should be winning.
In other West Brom news, Kamil Grosicki breaks silence as Nottingham Forest continue West Brom pursuit.