West Bromwich Albion 2 Burnley 0
West Bromwich Albion easily brushed aside Barnsley, but this time there was no repeat of the magnificent seven which had destroyed the Tykes last season.
Albion boss Tony Mowbray and Barnsley manager Simon Davey have brought in 22 or more players between them since the sides locked horns at The Hawthorns last May, but once again it was the Black Country side who came out on top, thanks to first-half goals from two of the new boys, Filipe Teixeira and Craig Beattie. Had Albion kept up the pressure in the second half, however, the goal margin could have been much wider.
Mowbray praised his side's "professional" performance: "In the first 45 minutes, we were good at moving the ball around the pitch and we tried to create chances and build on our performance while in the second half, with Barnsley reducing our opportunities to score, we were professional," he said,
"Filipe Teixeira is a talented footballer and that is why he is here. He is a midfielder with a lot of versatility — he can play inside, wide and on the left.
"His goal came after some great play but it looked like we just lacked the final touch. He is a piece of the jigsaw I am trying to put together and I think the balance of the team is better this year.
"We have brought in 12 or 13 new players and some need more time to settle than others. The Championship is a hard league to adapt to when you come from Portugal, where it is a more tactical game.
"We still have to adjust to life on the road and Sheffield United away was an eye-opener for Filipe, but we have to pick the right side to cope with physical sides like that."
Kevin Phillips shot wide within seconds of the game beginning and, moments later, Barnsley goalkeeper Heinz Muller was denying Zoltan Gera after he found himself unmarked on the edge of the area.
Teixeira should have done better but saw his shot easily gathered by the advancing Muller before excellent work from Phillips found former Celtic striker Beattie unmarked; his effort from wide on the right trickled across the face of the Barnsley goalmouth.
The visitors squandered a couple of half-chances before Teixeria fired home the opening goal on the half-hour. As the minutes ticked away to half-time, Barnsley pressed for an equaliser with Anderson de Silva having half a chance but Albion provided the perfect antidote as Beattie found himself in space in the 38th minute to slam home his second goal of the season after collecting the ball from 25 yards out.
The Baggies could have gone in at the break leading by three clear goals, although Phillips knew little about his chance as the ball hit him in the face and thudded off the Barnsley crossbar.
There was a reminder of times past on the hour mark when Barnsley replaced former Albion hero Andy Johnson with Grant McCann — the home fans showing they are still grateful for Johnson's efforts when he was wearing their jersey by rewarding him with a standing ovation.
Another new face was thrown into the mix by Mowbray as midfielder Chris Brunt — Albion's #3 million signing from Sheffield Wednesday —came on in place of James Morrison while Beattie was replaced by Manchester City loan striker Ishmael Miller.
Brunt's first real touch almost resulted in a goal as the player found himself out wide and curled in a shot with pinpoint accuracy, only to find Muller equal to the task in the Barnsley goal.
Albion, who had picked up the tempo greatly in the later stages of the first half, did not look to have such an urgency about their play in the second half and it soon became apparent there was to be no rout on this occasion.
Miller, however, was looking to add to the goal he scored on his debut against Preston and made a fine run through the Barnsley defence, but just lost the ball on the edge of the area.
Immediately attention switched to the Birmingham Road End as Dean Kiely — making his 700th senior appearance — pulled off a magical save to deny Anderson Da Silva.
Scorers: Teixeira (30), Beattie (38).
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Robinson, Barnett, Greening; Beattie (Miller, 65) Gera, Albrechtsen, Teixeira (Chaplow, 80); Phillips, Morrison (Brunt, 65). Subs: Clement, Slusarski (gk).
BARNSLEY: Muller, Nyatanga, Kozluk, Johnson (McCann, 60) Odejayi, Howard, Ferenczi (Ricketts) Foster, De Silva, Souza, Werling (Christensen, 80). Subs: Colgan (gk), Mostto.
Referee: Graham Laws (Tyne and Wear).
Bookings: Barnsley — De Silva (foul), Werling (dissent).
Attendance: 18, 310.
Albion man of the match: Filipe Teixeira — busy little midfielder scored the goal of the game.