Baggies make it two from too after edging out Clarets in a hard-fought encounter despite being a man light
HAL ROBSON-KANU came off the bench to hit the winner – and was then sent off in shame as West Brom made it two on the bounce.
Robson-Kanu arrived for the last half hour of a game drifting towards an aimless draw, and took less than ten minutes to make his mark.
It was only his fourth goal since joining as a free agent after last year’s Euros, and meant the Baggies have won their opening two top flight league games for the first time since 1978.
Robson-Kanu pounced when Chris Brunt – making his 500th club appearance – hooked a hopeful punt forward inches off the touchline in his own half.
Matt Phillips rose highest to flick on and the West Brom substitute was strong enough to hold off James Tarkowski before drilling past Tom Heaton.
Yet with eight minutes to go he was sent packing for an ugly challenge on Matt Lawton, that saw him jump into the Burnley full-back with a leading arm, and had Martin Atkinson flashing a straight red.
To be fair to Burnley, they were never going to match last week’s heroics at Chelsea, as they chased their own little slice of Clarets history.
Victory would have seen them win their opening two league games at this level for the first time sine 1973.
But despite the lion’s share of the ball, and what little chances there were, they rarely caused pulses to raise too much amongst Baggies fans.
Sam Vokes and Ben Mee blew the best of them, with two first half misses that left both red-faced.
First Vokes totally failed to connect when Robbie Brady curled in a delivery which invited a header.
And when Mee threw himself to meet a later corner from the same man, the ball had too much pace for him to direct his point blank effort into the corner.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Burnley had gone six games unbeaten against West Brom at Turf Moor before today’s defeat.
- Chris Brunt made his 500th career first team appearance in English football – 347 of those have come from the Baggies.
- The Baggies have won three of their last five top-flight meetings with the Clarets, drawing the other two.
- West Brom have not won both of their first two games in a top-flight league season since 1978-79. They ended that campaign in third place – the last time that they finished in the top three places within the top-flight.
- Sean Dyche’s side won just one of their last seven PL home games in 2016-17, this after a run of five consecutive wins between December 2016 and January 2017.
- Tony Pulis’ side had failed to win on the road for nine matches until today.
- West Brom have met Burnley five times in the Premier League, winning both home games 4-0 and securing a win and two draws at Turf Moor.
- Burnley were looking to win their opening two games to a top-flight season for the first time since 1973-74 – a season that the Clarets finished in sixth place.
- Sam Vokes has scored seven goals in his last seven Premier League games after netting just five in the previous 58.
- The Welsh frontman was also the first Burnley player to score in four consecutive Premier League appearances before his duck today.
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
WHAT THEY SAID
Sean Dyche: “I thought there was enough there today. We had some very good chances, our overall performance was very good.
“You have a future in your performances. If we keep applying ourselves and playing like we are we will be fine.”
On Chris Wood rumours: “We’ve been linked with lots of players. We will watch this space and see what comes. We are still in the market, still looking at different options.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Burnley: Heaton 5, Lowton 6, Mee 7, Tarkowski 6, Ward 6, Berg Gudmundsson 6, Cork 6, Hendrick 6, Defour 6, Brady 6, Vokes 6. Subs: Barnes 6, Walters 5.
West Brom: Foster 6, Nyom 6, Dawson 7, Hegazi 7, Brunt, Barry 7, Phillips 7, Field 6, Livermore 6, McClean 6, Rodriguez 6.
Subs: Robson-Kanu 6, Rondon 6.