Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Middlesbrough 0.
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough maintained their unbeaten Premier League start in a dull goalless draw at West Brom.
Home left-back Brendan Galloway had the best chance of the first half, surging forward but striking tamely at Boro goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Albion's Craig Dawson headed just wide from a corner after the break, and Boro's Cristhian Stuani shot straight at Ben Foster from a tight angle.
Daniel Ayala's poked effort from close range was kept out by Foster later on.
Robust Boro difficult to beat
This was a match lacking in quality and creativity, producing a result with which the visitors will be happier. The draw means that Boro have collected five points from three matches since returning to the top flight.
Aitor Karanka's organised side had more possession without really threatening the West Brom goal, with home goalkeeper Foster worked just twice to make routine saves.
Striker Alvaro Negredo had been involved in all three of his side's goals this term but he was isolated up front - and his total of 26 touches of the ball was the lowest of any player who started the match.
Central defenders Ayala and Ben Gibson looked assured, with the Spaniard contributing a match-high 13 clearances to maintain the side's first clean sheet of the campaign.
Deadline day dealings for Baggies?
West Brom boss Tony Pulis has added just one permanent signing during this transfer window, in Matt Phillips from QPR, as well the loan acquisition of defender Galloway from Everton.
Pulis reiterated the club need to sign "at least five players" to make a difference and on this showing, there will have to be frantic activity before Wednesday's transfer deadline to add reinforcements. The smattering of discontent from the home fans at full-time may just force the Baggies into it.
Teenager Sam Field was given his league debut against Boro and showed glimpses of his potential with tidy passing, but without any real incisiveness.
Although the hosts had 13 shots during the game, six were off target while five were blocked, so a partner for striker Salomon Rondon will be a priority.
The future of Saido Berahino remains unclear and he failed to make in impact during the 20 minutes he was on the pitch. Should he leave without a replacement coming in, West Brom could well be in trouble at the wrong end of the table.
Man of the match - Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough)
What they said:
West Brom boss Tony Pulis: "I have said before we need five players to come in because there are players here we need to move on who aren't going to play.
"There are 14 or 15 players who were here two years ago, when we were struggling near the bottom, who are fantastic and work so hard but we need to freshen up."
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka: "It was a difficult game for both of us but a point is massive because in the Premier League every game is tough.
"To have five points on the table is good and we'd have taken that. Maybe today wasn't the best performance but the spirit was there."
West Brom travel to Bournemouth on Saturday, 10 September (kick-off 15:00 BST), while Middlesbrough hosts Crystal Palace at the same time.
The stats you need to know:
- Only Arsenal (27) and Manchester United (25) have kept more Premier League clean sheets than West Brom (23) since Tony Pulis took charge in January 2015.
- West Brom have gone six Premier League games at home without a victory for the first time under Tony Pulis (two draw, four defeats).
- Middlesbrough have been involved in both of the Premier League games featuring the fewest shots on target this season (three in the match against Stoke City and four against West Brom).
- West Brom's Jonathan Leko is the first Premier League substitute to be then substituted himself in the same game this season.
- 5YacobBooked at 65mins
- 47FieldSubstituted forGardnerat 76'minutes
- 14McCleanSubstituted forLekoat 64'minutesSubstituted forBerahinoat 72'minutes
- 4AyalaBooked at 2mins
- 17BarragánBooked at 77mins
- 18StuaniSubstituted forFischerat 90+4'minutes
- 21RamírezBooked at 49minsSubstituted forNugentat 84'minutes
- 23de Sart
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Middlesbrough 0.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Viktor Fischer replaces Cristhian Stuani.
Foul by David Nugent (Middlesbrough).
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Middlesbrough. Daniel Ayala tries a through ball, but Álvaro Negredo is caught offside.
Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion).
Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion).
Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Hand ball by Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitution, Middlesbrough. David Nugent replaces Gastón Ramírez.
Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez.
Attempt saved. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Brendan Galloway.
Foul by Nsue (Middlesbrough).
Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough).
Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Craig Gardner replaces Sam Field.
Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adam Forshaw.
Attempt blocked. Nsue (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristhian Stuani.
Attempt saved. Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Antonio Barragán.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Brendan Galloway tries a through ball, but Salomón Rondón is caught offside.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Saido Berahino replaces Jonathan Leko because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.
Foul by Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough).
Sam Field (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jonathan Leko replaces James McClean.
Attempt missed. Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ben Gibson.
Attempt blocked. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.
Foul by Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough).
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.