The Warm Down: Defences dominate as West Brom and Burnley play out stalemate. 
Dwight McNeil of Burnley passes the ball under pressure from Conor Gallagher and Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Burnley at The Hawthorns on October 19, 2020 in West Bromwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Tim Keeton - Pool/Getty Images)

West Bromwich Albion and Burnley FC both showcased strong defensive displays on Monday night in the first 0-0 draw of the Premier League season. 

With just eight goals scored and one point combined between the two sides so far this season, the game played out as scripted - a scrappy battle with few quality chances.

In what was a slow first half West Brom had the best chance of the night when new signing Karlan Grant's header evaded Nick Pope and rippled the Burnley net, however the linesman's flag denied the forward of a dream debut for the Baggies

Burnley had the best chances of the second half as attacking duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood tried desperately to give their side the lead, however they couldn't find the breakthrough goal, with the latter coming closest as he rattled the crossbar.

New-look Baggies give positive first impressions

Albion manager Slaven Bilic made six changes to the starting XI from his side's 2-0 loss to Southampton before the international break along with a change in formation and considering the changes were so drastic, it worked. 

Ahmed Hegazi was paired with summer signing Branislav Ivanovic at the core of Albion's back-line as Bilic went on the hunt for his side's first clean sheet of the season and the decision paid off as the duo dealt with the physical and aerial presence of Burnley's strikeforce well. 

Summer signings Conor Gallagher and Filip Krovinovic were handed their Premier League debut's against the Clarets, and the midfield duo's high work-rates and creativity were a breath of fresh air for Albion fans, with Gallagher especially standing out for Baggies fans.

The first clean sheet is the most important one, and Bilic will be hoping his side can build on it and improve for the season ahead. 

Goalkeeping masterclasses at both ends of the pitch

The goalless result isn't fully down to a lack of quality from both sides in the final third, but more due to the fact that both 'keepers earned themselves a much-deserved clean sheet after solid displays.

Pope made six saves for Burnley, including a quick-fire triple save in the second half to keep the score level. 

The England international also made an important save late on to earn his side their first point of the season and move them off the bottom spot. 

In between the sticks at the other end, Sam Johnstone impressed for Albion, making some big saves throughout the game to keep the game goalless and earn his side their first clean sheet and second point of the season, moving them out of the bottom three.

Ex-Chelsea duo shine at both ends of the pitch for Baggies

When Ivanovic made his debut for Chelsea FC, Gallagher - on a season-long loan from Chelsea - was only eight years old. Fast forward 12 years and the now 20-year-old midfielder is making his West Brom debut alongside Ivanovic.

Now 36-years-old, the Serbian is back in the Premier League and was one of the standout performers for West Brom in the heart of defence.

Ivanovic added leadership and experience into the Baggies' backline, something which they've lacked in the early stages of the season. The veteran defender used his strength and aerial presence to deal with the tactics of Burnely, however, it will be interesting to see how he can cope against a side with pacey forwards unlike the Clarets

Gallagher also impressed for West Brom down the other end of the pitch, with the midfielder's creativity and quick-thinking causing havoc in the middle of the park. 

Bilic will be happy with the positive start for his new signings and will be hoping they can continue to improve over the course of the campaign. 

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