Burnley’s winless run on the road continues, as they played out a drab 0-0 draw with Sunderland; a game which certainly won’t live long in the memory of either set of fans.
A point definitely suits the Clarets more than Sunderland, but all three could easily have been coming back to East Lancashire.
A sprightly start from Burnley put the Black Cats under pressure from the off, and that pressure so nearly told on seven minutes when Andre Gray slipped Ashley Barnes through on goal.
In a moment of uncertainty, Jordan Pickford was hesitant in coming of his line and all Barnes needed to do was loft the ball above the England goalkeeper and into an empty net, but he chipped straight into his arms.
In what was a very quiet first half, Darron Gibson had Sunderland’s only first half chance, firing over from the edge of the box, following a short corner.
Undoubtedly the best chance of the first half fell to Barnes. A miscued shot from Scott Arfield fell kindly to the Burnley hitman, but he couldn’t convert from six yards out.
The Black Cats emerged for the second half a different team, displaying some fight, which had been absent for large parts of the season.
When Fabio Borini was played in down the left channel, he looked a certainty to at least test Tom Heaton, but his tame right footed effort was easy pickings for the England International. A great chance wasted.
Adnan Januzaj was next to be denied by Heaton. His left footed volley forced a smart save from the Burnley stopper, who had a busier afternoon than many would have expected.
Another glorious chance went begging for Sunderland moments later, when Seb Larsson swung a great cross in, straight onto the head of an un-marked Billy Jones six yards from goal, but the right back headed wide, in what can only be described as a remarkable miss.
Januzaj again went close when his left footed drive from outside the box had Heaton scrambling, but it drifted agonisingly wide of the post for Sunderland.
The Clarets’ best chance of the second half fell to Sam Vokes, who capitalised on an error from Jason Denayer, but his shot was smartly saved by Jordan Pickford.
There was time for one last Sunderland chance in stoppage time, when Borini again forced Heaton into action, drawing a smart save from Heaton.
The wait for an away win goes on for Burnley, but with the performances improving, you get the sense an away win may not be far away.
It’s back to home comforts next for Burnley, with two games against Tottenham and Stoke after the International break, which could be pivotal in deciding whether the Clarets are sucked into the relegation battle or not.