Spoils shared at Vicarage Road
Published 15/08/2015 | 17:08
West Brom registered their first point of the season after frustrating Watford in a goalless stalemate at Vicarage Road.
Tony Pulis' side put their 3-0 opening defeat by Manchester City behind them with a typically belligerent display against the newly-promoted Hornets.
They very nearly nicked all three points towards the end but Saido Berahino, still being linked with a move away before the end of the month, fluffed his lines in front of goal.
But that would have been harsh on Watford, who were for long periods the only team interested in attacking.
Sadly, for all Watford's style there was very little substance as time and again, following some neat build-up play, the final ball or finish was lacking.
Albion keeper Boaz Myhill was kept on his toes from early on, force into saves to keep out long-range efforts from Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney.
Deeney then nodded a cross from Miguel Layun wide and Jose Manuel Jurado was off target with an acrobatic volley from Etienne Capoue's centre.
Ighalo was denied from close range by a combination of Myhill and Gareth McAuley before crashing a rising drive narrowly over after being teed up by Deeney.
Allan Nyom, Watford's new Cameroon right-back, looks set to become a huge crowd favourite with his exploits at both ends of the field.
The summer signing from Udinese took Darren Fletcher's cross off the foot of Rickie Lambert as the Albion striker was about to tuck in their only chance of the first half.
And from the Baggies' corner, Nyom broke away and ran the length of the field before stinging Myhill's palms with a ferocious drive from the edge of the area.
Yet Watford's display probably was best summed up by Jurado, who left two West Brom defenders for dead with some superb footwork, only to then curl his shot high into the stands.
Deeney had another chance to open his Premier League account moments later when he met Ikechi Anya's cross at the far post, but Myhill was able to block the header and Jonas Olsson completed the clearance.
Pulis threw on new £12million striker Salomon Rondon with half an hour to go and the Venezuelan's introduction briefly sparked West Brom into life.
Rondon's first action was a powerful run into the Watford box, but this time his finish was poor as his shot sailed into the stands.
Berahino could have won it with 10 minutes left when McAuley headed Chris Brunt's cross back across goal, but the Tottenham target headed wide at the far post.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
"Who said Watford don't have many 0 0 draws?!" - Alan Shearer rues his pre-match tip.
Heurelho Gomes 6 (Out of 10)
Allan Nyom 7
Sebastian Prodl 6
Jose Manuel Jurado 7
Valon Behrami 6
Troy Deeney 7
Craig Cathcart 6
Miguel Layun 6
Ikechi Anya 6
Odion Ighalo 6
Etienne Capoue 7
Almen Abdi 6
Stephen Berghuis 5
Boaz Myhill 7
Jonas Olsson 6
Claudio Yacob 6
James Morrison 6
Craig Gardner 5
Chris Brunt 6
Rickie Lambert 5
Saido Berahinho 6
Gareth McAuley 6
Darren Fletcher 6
Craig Dawson 6
Salomon Rondon 6
James McClean 5
Callum McManaman 5
Allan Nyom: The Cameroon right-back was always a handful going forward and came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with one lung-busting run and shot. Set to become a big crown favourite at Vicarage Road.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Miguel Layun's backheel on the touchline, keeping the ball in play, hoodwinking James Morrison and sending Etienne Capoue on a free run up the wing all with one clever touch.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Watford attacked with pace down both flanks but too often the final ball let them down. The Baggies were happy sitting back and soaking up the pressure, but Saido Berahino and Rickie Lambert saw too little of the ball.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Albion's mantra seemed to be 'keep things tight and maybe nick a goal from a set-piece'. It did not make for great viewing, and unfortunately Watford lacked the nous to do anything about it.
WHO'S UP NEXT?
Watford v Southampton (Premier League, Sunday August 23)
West Brom v Chelsea (Premier League, Sunday August 23)