Burnley 2, Sunderland 0
Goals from strike duo Sam Vokes and Andre Gray secured Burnley's passage in to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Sunderland at Turf Moor.
The Clarets will now entertain Championship side Bristol City on home soil on January 28th after the Robins bypassed Fleetwood Town at Highbury courtesy of Jamie Paterson's first half strike.
Ahead of the third round tie at Turf Moor, amid claims that managers across the country, in the Premier League inparticular, had been disrespecting the competition by wholesale alterations, Sean Dyche claimed that change doesn't neccessarily signify weakness.
And so it proved as the Burnley boss transformed the XI that started the 1-0 win over Southampton, making seven changes for the arrival of the Black Cats, yet still comprehensively controlled the fixture while adding passages of play that were incredibly pleasing on the eye.
Goalkeeper Nick Pope, Tendayi Darikwa, James Tarkowski, Jon Flanagan, Joey Barton, Michael Kightly and Vokes all entered the fray as the Clarets extended their phenomenal form on home soil.
"The thing that has changed with us is we don’t carry massive numbers but we definitely have a more rounded squad," he said.
"When you look at the changes in the last game, it’s not like we’re playing kids, we bring in rounded professionals who are considered proper first-team players.
"We’re putting in players who are well recognised as being part of the club, Joey Barton and Steven Defour played the last game, he’s a big signing for us, James Tarkowski too.
"We’re not putting out a load of kids and hoping for the best, we’re putting out a side that I think is strong.
"We’re not a powerful enough club to start planning three games, four games in advance. Some clubs have to do it, but we’re still at a level of focusing on the next challenge as it comes."
That next challenge on the agenda started well and Vokes attempted to channel the magic of the cup when going for the spectacular. The striker flicked the ball over the head of Seb Larsson 20 yards from goal before guiding his volley wide of the upright.
The home side were already finding their rhythm, tearing through Sunderland's central bank with delightful zip and intricacy, and they threatened again when Jeff Hendrick's arrowing hit was collected by Vito Mannone.
That early dominance grew to be a familiar sequence as the hosts commanded possession and a move involving George Boyd and Hendrick deserved better as the latter's cross was headed wide at the near post by Vokes.
While Burnley hustled and harangued David Moyes's men in to submission, refusing to give them time to breathe, it was the total antithesis on the flip side of the coin.
The home side, who had beaten their opponents 4-1 in the final game of 2016, with Andre Gray scoring a hat-trick, were being afforded far too much time on the ball.
Boyd was under minimal pressure when shifting the ball on to his left boot on the edge of the penalty area and allowed to shoot at goal. Fortunately for Sunderland, goalkeeper Mannone was alert to beat the effort away.
The Wearsiders, though, didn't learn their lesson and within seconds Joey Barton was able to lift his head up, set the ball and fire from distance. Again Mannone was on hand to save, falling to the foot of his right hand post to get a glove to the deflected shot.
Burnley were turning the screw, forcing the initiative, and it seemed only a matter of time before their pressure paid.
Sunderland couldn't escape and again they found themselves acknowledging Mannone's vital contribution when the Italian stopper flicked Boyd's piledriver away for a corner.
Vokes headed over from Defour's set-piece but the Welshman proved to be far more accurate in first half stoppage time.
The striker got across defender Jason Denayer to meet Darikwa's delivery at the near post and guided the ball across Mannone and in to the far corner with a wonderful glancing header.
The away side improved slightly after the break but Nick Pope was still without a touch of the ball. Larsson's first time shot that dipped just beyond the far post was the best that Sunderland had to offer.
Normal service resumed when Mannone did well to gauge Boyd's awkward volley, plunging low to his left to prevent the ball from finding the corner of the net.
Michael Kightly also went close when setting himself on the edge of the penalty area before bending an effort high and wide of the target.
However, Burnley's progression in the competition was signed, sealed and delivered with seven minutes remaining when substitute Andre Gray, who had replaced Kightly some six minutes earlier, doubled the advantage.
Vokes helped on Tarkowski's ball upfield, Gray wrestled goal side of Billy Jones and coolly powered the ball in to the back of the net.
Pope has yet to concede inside 90 minutes in a competitive outing for the Clarets and he produced a stunning save to preserve that record in the final seconds.
After Barton conceded a free kick on the angle of the penalty area, felling Adnan Januzaj, the former Charlton Athletic man flew to his right to turn the ball around the upright.