Burnley 0-1 West Bromwich Albion: Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu nets winner and receives his marching orders in 20-minute cameo

Just 12 minutes separated the Wales international's goal and red card.

Burnley 0-1 West Bromwich Albion: Substitute Hal Robson-Kanu nets winner and receives his marching orders in 20-minute cameo
Robson-Kanu scores his first goal of the season (photo: Getty Images/Tony Marshall)
Burnley
0 1
West Brom
Burnley: Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward; Berg Gudmundsson (Barnes 79), Cork, Hendrick, Defour, Brady (Walters 78); Vokes
West Brom: Foster; Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Brunt; Barry, Phillips, Field (Rondón 86), Livermore, McClean (Robson-Kanu 63); Rodriguez
SCORE: 0-1 Robson-Kanu 71

West Bromwich Albion substitute Hal Robson-Kanu sparked a contest bereft of quality into life as he scored an excellent winning goal before being harshly sent off for a perceived elbow on Matt Lowton.

Jeff Hendrick presents the greatest threat in the opening stages

Burnley started the brighter of the two teams as Jeff Hendrick looked to have a key influence from the centre of midfield. The Republic of Ireland international had no less than three efforts in the early stages but failed to sufficiently test Ben Foster.

Hendrick's midfield colleague Johann Berg Gudmundsson was keen to try his luck, going close twice in as many minutes. The Icelander fired just over before forcing Foster into a sprawling effort though his header appeared to be drifting wide.

With the hosts looking the stronger side before the break, either team could have opened the scoring at the end of the first half. Jay Rodriguez flicked on a corner for the visitors only for Craig Dawson to divert his effort over the crossbar with his body.

Burnley then went close themselves from a set-piece as another defender missed a golden opportunity. Robbie Brady picked out Ben Mee, only for the centre-back to nod wide from a tight angle.

West Brom had to improve and they showed attacking intent immediately after the break. Jake Livermore thought he had broken the deadlock when his deflected strike hit the back of the net. Yet Rodriguez had touched the ball in the process from an offside position and the flag was duly raised.

Hendrick has gone quiet for a period for the hosts but almost netted the opener with quick reactions. Steven Defour's mishit volley was flicked towards goal by Hendrick only to drift wide.

 

Robson-Kanu introduction makes the difference

On 64 minutes, Tony Pulis decided his side required a spark. Robson-Kanu replaced James McLean as the visitors changed from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2. It took just seven minutes for Pulis and his men to reap the rewards.

The previously quiet Matt Phillips nodded a long ball into the path of Robson-Kanu, who still had a lot of work to do. The striker shrugged off Gudmundsson and then James Tarkowski before firing an excellent strike past Tom Heaton.

The visitors appeared to have the game virtually in the bag as Burnley could not issue a response. Yet on 83 minutes, referee Martin Atkinson gave them a lifeline. Robson-Kanu jumped for a ball with his arm outstretched. His hand appeared to catch Matt Lowton and the Welshman was dealt his marching orders in what seemed to be a harsh decision.

Burnley created numerous chances in the final few minutes but squandered them all. Hendrick fired over again before Sam Vokes and Jon Walters all missed late headers. 

The Baggies held on to give them back-to-back wins at the start of a top flight season for the first time since 1978. Meanwhile, Burnley are left wondering how they failed to get a shot on target from 20 efforts at goal...perhaps Leeds United's Chris Wood could help?