West Brom benefited from a slice of luck and refereeing leniency in their 0-0 Premier League draw with West Ham on Saturday.
Slaven Bilic’s side were the better team at The Hawthorns and came closest to scoring through a spectacular long-range effort from Pedro Obiang which smacked the crossbar.
The visitors were also left aggrieved that goalkeeper Ben Foster was only given a booking for a lunging challenge on Javier Hernandez midway through the second half.
Tony Pulis’ side suffered their first defeat of the season to Brighton and Hove Albion last week and seemed to be lacking the confidence they displayed in their opening two games.
West Ham, who ended a run of three losses in a row with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town last time out, were the more adventurous of the teams but struggled to create chances against a compact defence shielded by Gareth Barry, who made a record 600th Premier League start and equalled Ryan Giggs’ appearance record of 632.
The result puts the Hammers level on points with Everton, who travel to Manchester United on Sunday, while West Brom move on to eight points from five games.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 16, 2017
Chris Brunt tested Joe Hart in the early exchanges but Obiang came closest to a goal in the first half, rattling the top of the crossbar with an extraordinary curling shot from 45 yards out that had Foster completely beaten.
The attempt seemed to galvanise West Ham, who began to peg back the home side and twice created half-chances for Andy Carroll, who failed to hit the target.
The Baggies’ best chance of the half came for James Morrison, who failed to connect properly with a dangerous Matt Phillips cross from the left.
West Ham remained the better side after the break but suffered a blow 10 minutes into the half when James Collins appeared to injure a hamstring and was replaced by Marko Arnautovic, on for his first appearance since returning from suspension.
The Austrian was straight into the action, taking a hit to the shin from Ahmed Hegazi, with Bilic left furious on the sidelines after West Brom did not put the ball out of play for the forward to be treated.
West Ham’s frustrations were even greater just three minutes later as Foster escaped with a yellow card after racing from his goal and bringing down Hernandez with a thigh-high challenge that mercifully made little contact with the striker.
The visitors kept up their attacking efforts in the closing stages but West Brom held firm to take a point, although they have now won only two of their last 14 top-flight meetings with the Londoners.
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