Albion endured a frustrating night at the Amex as they were held to a goalless draw by Burnley.
It was their third draw in the last four Premier League games but they were thwarted by Clarets keeper Nick Pope, particularly in the first half when he twice denied Danny Welbeck.
The second half was more cagey. Albion dominated possession and chances but couldn’t break down a resolute Burnley defence.
Albion nearly made the perfect start with a goal inside the first minute. Tariq Lamptey found himself in a similar position inside the box to where he scored against Spurs after Ben Mee slipped trying to intercept Danny Welbeck’s pass. This time, though, Lamptey drilled his shot wide.
It set the tone for an encouraging first half as Albion pushed and probed, looking to use the wide areas to stretch Burnley.
Welbeck was twice denied by Nick Pope. Adam Lallana found his former England team-mate in the 34th minute with a great pass but Pope diverted Welbeck’s powerful left-foot shot past the post with his outstretched left leg.
Then just before the break Welbeck was picked out by Ben White’s superb long-range pass, but Pope was out quickly to smother his shot.
Pascal Gross, who combined well on several occasions with Lamptey down the right, headed Lallana’s cross wide from a decent position and Dan Burn caught Gross’s cross-field ball nicely but volleyed wide.
Burnley only threatened a couple of times before the break. Chris Wood stabbed the ball wide, surprised perhaps that Matt Lowton’s deep cross had looped over Maty Ryan and off the crossbar.
Albion could have done without the break given they had the momentum and it took them a while to threaten again in the second half. Lallana claimed a penalty for handball in the 57th minute when Charlie Taylor blocked his shot before Adam Webster headed Gross’ cross onto the roof of the net. Burnley countered but Dwight McNeil shot over from a decent position on the edge of the box.
Going into the final 20 minutes, the game started to get stretched. Albion dominated possession but Burnley defended resiliently, James Tarkowski flinging himself in front of Maupay’s goal-bound shot before Taylor bravely blocked Lamptey’s effort at the far post when he was picked out by Gross’s clever cross.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaced Joel Veltman in an attacking change for the last few minutes but there was no way through.
Lallana loving it
As he gains optimum fitness, Adam Lallana is becoming more influential with every game. He ran proceedings in the first half, rarely wasting a pass and finding pockets of space between the lines to showcase his passing range and skill on the ball when Burnley tried to close him down. And while Adam Webster once again captained Albion in Lewis Dunk’s absence, Lallana was the voice you heard loudest, as he cajoled and praised his team-mates throughout.
Three changes – and a debut for Danny
Graham Potter restored Maty Ryan to the line-up in goal, one of three changes to the side beaten by Tottenham. Leo Trossard and Solly March both missed out through injury so Welbeck got his full debut and top scorer Neal Maupay returned. Alireza Jahanbakhsh was back on the bench after injury but there was no Dale Stephens against his former club, the Burnley midfielder missing out through illness.
Unusually for a Premier League game both sides played with two recognised forwards as Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood lined up against their former club for the Clarets. The Welbeck-Maupay pairing was used for the first time but there were signs that they could build a good understanding and give Graham Potter another option up front.
Albion: Ryan, Lamptey, Veltman (Jahanbakhsh 83), Webster White, Burn, Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Welbeck (Connolly 85), Maupay.
Subs: Steele, Mac Allister, Alzate, Propper, Bernardo.
Referee: Mike Dean