West Brom 0-0 West Ham: Visitors held in game of few chances
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 17/09/17 9:09pm
West Ham had the better of the action at The Hawthorns but couldn't find a winner as they were held to a 0-0 draw at West Brom.
Pedro Obiang's incredible effort from 45 yards cannoned back off the crossbar in a first half that lacked any real quality.
Things didn't improve a great deal after the interval, with Ben Foster arguably very fortunate to stay on the pitch for a lunge on Javier Hernandez. Andy Carroll had a few half chances, but nothing that caused Foster any real concern.
The result sees West Ham continue their improvement after a poor start to the season, while West Brom move into the top half of the table.
West Brom: Foster (6), Gibbs (6), Evans (6), Dawson (6), Hegazi (6), Krychowiak (6), Barry (7), Brunt (6), Phillips (6), Morrison (6), Rodriguez (7).
Subs: Robson-Kanu (6), McClean (6), Nyom (N/A)
West Brom: Hart (6), Reid (6), Cresswell (6), Fonte (5), Collins (6), Zabaleta (5), Kouyate (6), Antonio (7), Obiang (6), Hernandez (6), Carroll (6).
Subs: Arnautovic (6), Sakho (6), Ayew (N/A).
Man of the match: Michail Antonio
Gareth Barry took the applause before kick-off as he equalled Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record against the Hammers, but it was a fresh face in Kieran Gibbs who almost got his West Brom career off to a flyer early on into his first start for the club, but he saw his goalbound effort well blocked.
Then, with the quality elsewhere very low in the opening half hour, Obiang attempted an audacious effort from just inside his own half, from 45 yards, which beat Foster in the home goal, but his strike cannoned back off the crossbar.
West Brom's best chance of the half came via the head of James Morrison in the 38th minute, but he failed to get to the desired purchase on the ball and it flashed across the face of goal.
Kieron Gibbs was handed his first start for West Brom, as he replaced Allan Nyom. Chris Brunt for Jake Livermore and James Morrison for Salomon Rondon were the other West Brom changes. Unsurprisingly, the Hammers were unchanged from the win over Huddersfield, with Andy Carroll leading the line once more.
The second half saw even less goalmouth action, but the main talking point was just how Foster managed to avoid being sent off for a lunging tackle on Hernandez.
The long ball over the top was there to be won, but Hernandez kicked the ball away from the advancing England international before being upended, somewhat rashly, The Hammers bench was incensed.
Several opportunities came and went to create that match-winning opening, but the final ball remained poor throughout match. A point was all either side deserved for showing such little endeavour.
- Gareth Barry equalled Ryan Giggs' Premier League record of 632 appearances in the competition. Barry also become the first player to start 600 games in the Premier League.
- West Ham kept just their second clean sheet in their last 19 away matches in the Premier League.
- Only Southampton (13) and Man Utd (12) have recorded more nil-nil draws in the Premier League than West Brom (10) since Tony Pulis' took over in January 2015.
- West Brom have won just two of their last 14 matches versus West Ham in the Premier League (D9 L3).
- West Ham have won just once in their last 11 Premier League away games (W1 D4 L6)
Tony Pulis: "It was two sides who cancelled each other out. We played different systems and it was a difficult game. We had two really good chances in the first half. Obiang has had that wonderful effort, but it was a game of few chances."
Slaven Bilic: "For me, in the game, it looked like Foster was the last man. But after we have looked and the referee made a good decision, it was a yellow as he was not last man. It wasn't that brutal. Of course sometimes that would be a red, but I can't see the referee has done too much wrong in that situation."
The pundit - Matt Le Tissier
I thought Foster was probably lucky to stay on. If that was a defender, he would have been off. He is two feet off the ground, out of control. Chicharito is going away from goal, so he isn't denying a goalscoring opportunity, but it is just the foul itself. Anywhere else on the pitch and it is a red card. Defensively it was an improvement for West Ham, but West Brom were very poor on the attack. I feel sorry for Jay Rodriguez up front, he was so isolated.
Man of the Match - Michail Antonio
Simply the only player who had a go. He got so exasperated by lack of movement ahead of him that he tried to go it alone too often. His work ethic cannot be questioned, as he never gave up.
Manchester City travel to the Midlands to take on West Brom in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, which will be good preparation for an imposing-looking trip to Arsenal for Tony Pulis's men on Monday Night Football.
West Ham host Bolton in the cup on Tuesday night, before entertaining rivals Tottenham at lunchtime on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.