Burnley and Sunderland remain without a Barclays Premier League win this season after a cagey 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.
Both sides will have viewed the clash as a prime opportunity to claim maximum points for the first time this term, but a closely fought encounter lacked quality in the final third as promising positions went to waste at both ends.
Marvin Sordell, replacing the injured Danny Ings in the starting line-up for Burnley, spurned the best opportunity of the match in the fifth minute, while substitute Ashley Barnes saw a deflected effort come back off the crossbar with three minutes remaining. There was another close call in the first minute of stoppage time as Tom Heaton brilliantly tipped Patrick van Aanholt's thumping drive onto the post.
It was a third consecutive goalless draw for Sean Dyche's men, who have now gone five matches in all competitions without finding the net. For Sunderland, a fourth draw in five league outings this season means Gus Poyet's side remain at the wrong end of the early Barclays Premier League table, a point better off than their opponents. Burnley did climb out of the bottom three with this result, but their lack of potency in front of goal may continue to worry Dyche.
Sordell came in for Ings in the hosts' only change, and the former Bolton Wanderers man ought to have put Burnley ahead when he missed his kick from close range after being teed up by Lukas Jutkiewicz. Emanuele Giaccherini, who replaced Ricky Alvarez, represented Sunderland's solitary alteration from the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, and the Italy midfielder tested Heaton with a firm shot in the 11th minute.
Burnley's David Jones had the next opening in the 19th minute but the midfielder fired straight at Vito Mannone from just inside the area after exchanging passes with George Boyd. Santiago Vergini flicked a header narrowly wide and Connor Wickham shot at Heaton as the visitors established a foothold on proceedings.
Heaton was forced to gather Jack Rodwell's strike from distance at the second attempt after the interval, and only Jason Shackell's last-ditch interception denied the former Manchester City man from converting Giaccherini's cut-back in the 55th minute.
Wickham fired narrowly wide from 20 yards nine minutes later as Sunderland began to make inroads, although Mannone had to be alert to keep out Scott Arfield's low cross at his near post soon afterwards. Jones played in Jutkiewicz in the 77th minute but the striker, after a slight shirt tug from John O'Shea, shot too close to Mannone, who was able to palm away to safety.
Right at the death, Barnes' strike took a wicked deflection and looped over a stranded Mannone only to bounce off the bar, before Heaton and the woodwork denied Van Aanholt as both sides were forced to settle for a point.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "It was another thorough performance and we should have brought more than just a point. On the other hand it's a strong clean sheet. It was a good performance in all areas.
"There were a number of chances and sometimes you just need things to go your way. There's goals in the team, I'm convinced of that. It's a bit early for talk of staying in the Premier League. We're a work in progress - we know we have to score goals but you also have to keep clean sheets."
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I don't think it was a special game or a good game for us. It was one of those games. The one who scores the goal wins the game. The good thing today was the clean sheet. For the first time we get a clean sheet. We need to improve though for sure. Overall, we played OK. Just OK. But OK in the Premier League is not enough - you need to be better."
|28 Sep 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|04 Oct 2014||v Leicester (A)|
|18 Oct 2014||v West Ham (H)|
|26 Oct 2014||v Everton (H)|
|01 Nov 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|08 Nov 2014||v Hull (H)|