Burnley entered Friday evening’s fixture as the elite in the Championship. Not only does Burnley have the most goals scored in the league, but it also has the fewest goals against.
At Turf Moor, Burnley is even more dominant. Twelve wins and a draw in the last 13 games at home is effectively the reason Burnley entered this contest with a 13-point lead at the top of the table.
Vincent Kompany’s side was the clear favorite, particularly given the visitor was Sunderland, which picked up five points in its last seven entering this game. However, by the time 90 minutes blew, a scoreless draw was deserved, if not a little harsh on Sunderland.
Even chances for both clubs
In the 68th minute, Amad Diallo’s shot took a massive deflection and looped over Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric. Fortunately for the hosts, the ball ricocheted off the crossbar and back into the grateful gloves or Muric. Then, immediately after, Burnley marauded forward. Nathan Tella had space on the left side, and he played a looping ball towards the back post of the Sunderland net. Sunderland’s Anthony Patterson easily claimed that ball, though.
With just a handful of minutes to play, Burnley had another strong opportunity. Jóhann Guðmundsson was in behind the Sunderland defense. After Josh Brownhill missed out on a header at the top of the six-yard box, the ball fell to Manuel Benson. However, American international Lynden Gooch made a tackle to force a corner, and disrupt the opportunity.
Disallowed Sunderland goal preserves draw at Burnley
Sunderland did put the ball in the net with seven minutes to go. However, Abdoullah Ba blocked Muric’s view of the incoming shot. Even though Ba did not touch the ball, he was clearly in an offside position, just barely in front of Muric. It prevented the shot stopper from seeing the ball until it was underneath him and in the back of the net.
Despite there being six minutes of stoppage time, neither side mustered a clear-cut chance after the disallowed goal. The game would finish 0-0, a first at Turf Moor this season. For Burnley, it is only the second time the club failed to score in a match in league play this season.
The Claret and Blue already locked up at the least a spot in the promotion playoffs. However, a win against Sunderland would have made the club one win away from guaranteed promotion to the top flight.
Sunderland will gladly take a draw away from Burnley. As a result of the draw, Sunderland is six points adrift of the last playoff spot, having played at least one more game than every other team in the Championship. Still, getting into the playoffs is not out of the realm of possibility.
PHOTO: IMAGO / News Images
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