Sam Johnstone salvaged a point for West Bromwich Albion against Burnley, with both Slaven Bilic and Sean Dyche paying tribute to the in-form goalkeeper when speaking after the game.
You would have got short odds on the first 0-0 draw of a remarkable Premier League season coming during a Monday night clash between the Baggies and the Clarets.
Although if it wasn’t for a fine goalkeeping performance from West Brom’s number one, there would have been at least one goal for struggling Burnley to celebrate at The Hawthorns.
Johnstone twice kept the returning Ashley Barnes off the scoresheet, parrying away a close range volley in the first half before using every inch of his 6ft 4ins frame to tip away the Burnley striker’s bullet header late on.
“(Johnstone) was really good. He made a couple of great saves – that is why we have got him,” Bilic told the Birmingham Mail of the one-time Manchester United youngster.
“He was very good in the Championship. Those saves he made – and more importantly the clean sheet – are giving him and the team confidence and proof they are good enough.”
Burnley have at least got a point on the board after four successive defeats and, while Dyche was disappointed not to see the net bulge in the Midlands, he struck a typically gracious tone after the game.
“I only question my centre forwards if they’re not creating and getting on the end of chances, I don’t when they miss chances as long as they are in there,” Dyche said, in quotes reported by Lancs Live.
“On another day, either of them score – the (West Brom) keeper has made some good saves to be fair.”
After conceding 13 goals in his first four games in the Premier League, a much-needed clean sheet should be a welcome confidence booster for Johnstone.