Burnley 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Stalemate edges Seagulls towards survival
Brighton and Hove Albion took another step towards securing their place in the Premier League with a battling 0-0 draw at European hopefuls Burnley on Saturday.
Chris Hughton's men are five points above the relegation zone with three games to play, although Southampton's defeat of Bournemouth means they cannot yet be sure of survival.
Chances were hard to find in a low-quality game at Turf Moor, with goalkeepers Mat Ryan and Nick Pope having little to do in a cagey clash.
Burnley had two penalty appeals for handball rejected in the first half, with Sean Dyche's men still yet to be awarded a spot-kick in the Premier League this season.
Chris Wood's injury blunted the Burnley attack after the break, while a Pascal Gross shot that Pope dealt with easily was the closest Brighton came to a winner.
The draw extends Burnley's wait for a win to three Premier League games, but they are almost certain to finish seventh in the table - qualifying for the Europa League - as they have a six-point lead from Everton and a far superior goal difference.
Brighton skipper Bruno volleyed a 19th-minute Gross corner well wide as Brighton worked the first clear chance after a cagey start.
FT: Little in the way of further opportunities in a cagey second half, as Albion and Burnley share the spoils in a goalless draw. Burnley had the best chance in the first half when neither Barnes or Long could score from a goalmouth scramble. #BFC 0 #BHAFC 0 #BURBHApic.twitter.com/naUkGbxiNQ-- Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) April 28, 2018
Burnley appealed for handball in the penalty area when Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk combined to clear Kevin Long's effort after an almighty goalmouth scramble, Ashley Barnes missing the chance to force the ball home against his former side.
Beram Kayal dragged wide from inside the box after neat Brighton passing created an opportunity, then Barnes fired straight at Ryan from a right-wing Matt Lowton cross in the 37th minute.
Dyche's men ended the half in the ascendancy, Johann Gudmundsson forcing a smart stop from Ryan with a drilled 20-yard free-kick before East waved away more penalty appeals when Bruno appeared to block a Long header with his arm.
31' PICS: The goal-mouth scramble in pictures, Burnley's best chance so far. 0-0 pic.twitter.com/PPwF0sZjOs-- Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) April 28, 2018
Pope made a comfortable save low to his right to keep out a Gross drive as Brighton made a strong start to the second period.
Gudmundsson set-pieces continued to provide Burnley's main threat, but Ashley Westwood could not find a clean enough contact to beat Ryan from another dangerous delivery in the 63rd minute.
Wood's injury saw the Clarets struggle even more to produce quality in the final third, with both teams appearing to settle for what could yet prove a crucial draw in the closing stages.
Key Opta Facts:
- Courtesy of this goalless draw, Burnley ended a run of eight top-flight home games without a clean sheet.
- Brighton have bagged a league-low nine away goals in the Premier League this season.
- The Seagulls have lost on just one of their last eight league visits to Turf Moor (W2 D5).
- Only against Tottenham (8 games), has Sean Dyche faced an opponent more often in all competitions as Burnley manager than Brighton (7) without enjoying a single victory.
- Brighton have been involved in a joint-league-high five goalless draws in the Premier League this season, level with Southampton.
- A league-high 17 of Burnley's Premier League games this season have been goalless at half-time, with Brighton, Huddersfield and West Brom next (all on 15).