Shocking set-piece defending and an inability to get forward doomed newly-promoted Burnley on their visit to the Hawthornes, as goals from Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino saw West Brom through 4-0.
Both first-half goals came on corners, as Burnley failed to mark effectively and West Brom rode their fans’ energy to an easy win, their second of the Premier League season and third in a row in all competitions.
Berahino then completed his brace early in the second half to ensure the three points, and Graham Dorrans capped a great day of providing with a goal of his own at the death.
West Brom started brightly, to nobody’s surprise, as they played a very high line and looked to overwhelm the staunch Burnley defense which had held three straight clubs to clean sheets.
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They had a few chances early on but Burnley’s swarming defense showed early why they have been so hard to score on, playing a bend-but-don’t-break style that was facing an inevitable break.
On a half hour, West Brom found their best chance yet and broke through. A cross from the dangerous Sebastien Pocognolli flew just a few agonizing inches over the head of Berahino.
On the ensuing corner, however, they would make amends. It swung in to the far post, and Craig Dawson rose above Jason Shackell nodded it home with his head back across the face of goal and into the back of the net. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton was so focused on Berahino in the middle that he found himself off-balance on the ball to the far post and was nowhere to be found.
The goal conceded was the first by Burnley in 367 minutes, the last coming in the 23rd minute against Swansea four fixtures previous.
The Baggies continued to storm Burnley’s goal, and Dorrans ripped a vicious, dipping shot with three minutes to go before halftime but Heaton did well to tip it over the bar.
It would come again for West Brom, who deservedly increased their lead on yet another corner. Whipped in from the other end just into first-half stoppage time, a little flick-on with the head from the near post by Dorrans placed the ball right on the head of Berahino, who didn’t even move and still poked it home for the 2-0 lead.
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After the break things got no better for Burnley, as manager Sean Dyche brought on Nathan Chalobah, and 75 seconds into his stint on the pitch he received a yellow card for a studs up tackle in the middle of the field.
West Brom sat a little deeper in the second half and let Burnley work with more possession knowing they wouldn’t make much of it, which they didn’t. The Baggies also made something of their counters, as Gardner fired just wide from distance five minutes after the break and then Berahino sealed his double.
The move seemed too easy, as Berahino burst through the Burnley central defense and latched onto a slotted ball through by Dorrans and the finish was easy.
The rest of the match was a formality, and manager Alan Irvine brought off Stephane Sessegnon and Pocognoli both to receive a warm reception from the crowd. Dorrans got a goal of his own as time wound down to rub salt in the wound.
All three points plus a +4 in goals slid the Baggies all the way to 10th place, level with Liverpool on points and above them on differential. Meanwhile, Burnley remain winless on the season and are drop below Newcastle to bottom of the table after losing by four.
West Brom: Foster; Wisdom, Lescott, Dawson, Pocognoli (Gamboa 84′); Dorrans, Morrison, Gardner (Yacob 87′), Brunt, Sessegnon (Samaras 74′); Berahino.
Goals: Dawson 30′, Berahino 45+1′, 56′, Dorrans 90′
Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee; Arfield, Wallace (Chalobah 46′), Reid (Barnes 46′), Kightly; Boyd; Jutkiewicz (Sordell 68′).