Brighton and Hove Albion 0, Burnley 0

Burnley stayed on course for a place in the Premier League's top four at Christmas with a goal-less draw against Brighton.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 5:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th December 2017, 6:15 pm
Nick Pope watches Glen Murray's penalty fly over the crossbar

Ahead of Manchester City's game against Spurs at the Etihad the Clarets sat in fifth spot, just a solitary point behind Arsenal after the Gunners edged past Newcastle United.

And, as Burnley kept a ninth clean sheet of the campaign, next weekend's schedule now, incredibly, has plenty riding on it at the top end with Spurs visiting Turf Moor while Arsene Wenger's men host Liverpool.

The Clarets were lucky to go in level at the break after Brighton's leading scorer, Glenn Murray, blazed over the bar from the spot in the 36th minute.

Nick Pope watches Glen Murray's penalty fly over the crossbar

The striker won the spot kick when tangling with James Tarkowski inside the box but paid the penalty for choosing power over placement as the ball found the stand.

And Burnley had been fortunate to still find themselves on level terms prior to the penalty as the Seagulls applied the pressure.

Nick Pope saved Murray's header after the 34-year-old squeezed in-between Tarkowski and Phil Bardsley to meet Bruno's cross

It was a quiet afternoon for Mathew Ryan for the most part but the goalkeeper did well to repel Johann Berg Gudmundsson's attempt once the Icelandic international collected Scott Arfield's delivery.

Nick Pope watches Glen Murray's penalty fly over the crossbar

However, the home side went straight to the other end and a fantastic reflex save from Pope prevented Anthony Knockaert's strike from sneaking inside the post.

Burnley were struggling to make an impression on the game and a goal line clearance from Bardsley was required to keep the scores level after Davy Propper powered a header goalwards from Pascal Gross's corner.

Former AFC Bournemouth forward Murray had another sighting of goal when his tremendous touch took him goal side of Bardsley but Pope stuck out a hand to keep the shot out.

All that pressure looked as though it would pay off when referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot as Murray went to ground in a non-threatening position in a tussle with Tarkowski but the striker couldn't make it count.

Burnley were much better after the break and created the clearer openings in a role reversal at the AMEX Stadium.

Chris Wood's effort lacked the power to trouble Ryan as the club's leading scorer collected a Jeff Hendrick pass and, after Pope flicked out a wrist to thwart Knockaert, the record signing had a goal chalked off.

The New Zealand international, who had a successful spell on loan with Brighton under Gus Poyet in the 2010/11 season, was level with the deepest defender when swiping the ball home though replays suggest that the offside decision may have been given against Arfield.

The midfielder appeared to be just too keen to move in on goal when the ball found its way to him before he drew two saves in quick succession from Ryan.

Wood had the chance to score his fifth goal of the season for the Clarets in the top flight when timing his run to perfection to beat the offside but, from substitute Ashley Barnes's pass, the striker's attempt was too delicate and Ryan saved with his shoulder.