The spoils were shared on Friday night as Sunderland came to town and kept the Championship leaders, and the division’s highest scorers, out in the league for only the second time this season, emulating what Blackpool had done just weeks prior.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis tested Anthony Patterson on his return to action after Josh Brownhill’s corner caused problems before Dan Neil tested Arijanet Muric on two occasions as play switched to the opposite end of the pitch.
Ashley Barnes’s side-footed attempt caressed the top of the crossbar when the striker was well-placed inside the box from Brownhill’s pass and then the midfielder went close himself as Lynden Gooch diverted his strike over the top.
Amad Diallo threatened to end Burnley’s 22-game unbeaten run on home soil when his deflected effort came back off the bar, but the game finished goalless as the Clarets stretched their unbeaten run in the second tier to 18 games with a 17th clean sheet of the campaign.
Here are the ratings.
Arijanet Muric 6
Distribution exquisite in some instances and questionable in others. The Kosovan stopper denied Dan Neil on two occasions in the first half and kept hold of a Patrick Roberts effort after the break. Another clean sheet.
Connor Roberts 7
Another very likeable performance from the Welsh full back. His marauding runs, in support of Manuel Benson, enabled Burnley to stretch their opponents at times, he broke the lines with his distribution and kept Jack Clarke quiet.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis 6.5
Back from a long-term injury and slotted into the side like he'd never been away. The Manchester City defender was key to the Clarets beating Sunderland's press, he was dominant on the deck and in the air, and tested Anthony Patterson with the home side's first chance of the evening.
Jordan Beyer 7
Guilty of over-running the ball on occasions, which resulted in a couple of Sunderland breaks, including the one which saw Arijanet Muric turn Dan Neil's attempt around the post, and then hit one stray pass straight out for a corner. However, the Germany Under 21 international dominated his duels and, having persevered, he carried the ball out from the back to break the lines with such swagger at times.
Ian Maatsen 6
One of the Chelsea loanee's most ineffective outings. Sunderland stifled his threat going forward impeccably, with Dan Neil often picking him up on the inside. Caught in possession a few times, and targeted when the visitors had the chance to counter. Collected a booking in the second half for a late challenge on Trai Hume.
Josh Cullen 6.5
Pinned a lot deeper than usual as Sunderland's energy, and commitment to get high up the pitch, made it difficult for the Republic of Ireland international to influence play from his usual spots. Made a sublime block to turn Amad Diallo's shot on to the crossbar and an incisive pass into Johann Berg Gudmundsson led to a big chance for Manuel Benson.
Josh Brownhill 7
Considering his significant lack of game time in recent weeks, the midfielder's output was astonishing. Often isolated in the middle of the park, but ran himself into the ground in his attempts to provide the connection between midfield and attack. His hooked pass set Ashley Barnes up in the first half and then his effort from inside the penalty area was turned over the crossbar by Lynden Gooch.
Manuel Benson 6
Forced into near anonymity by the impressive Lynden Gooch, who seemed to have the Belgian's number until his withdrawal in the 83rd minute. It was the winger's first start since January, so you have to legislate for that, and he'll soon be back to making a big impact. Wasteful with a couple of openings late on, especially when failing to get Johann Berg Gudmundsson's cross under control.
Nathan Tella 6
The Southampton loan ace offered glimpses of his capabilities, but his end product wasn't up to scratch against the Cats. Linked play well on occasions, particularly in the second half when switching to the left hand side, combining with Anass Zaroury as Ashley Barnes was crowded out. Not up to his usual high standards as Luke O'Nien came out on top of their battle.
Anass Zaroury 6
Another indifferent display from the Morocco international. Had the beating of Trai Hume, but failed to deliver when it mattered. Drew fouls and won free kicks in dangerous areas of the pitch, which the Clarets were unable to capitalise on, couldn't impact the game when switched into a more central role, and replaced by Johann Berg Gudmundsson with 25 minutes remaining.
Ashley Barnes 6.5
The striker's reaction said it all after he'd lifted an effort over the crossbar from Josh Brownhill's hooked pass in the first half. He's now without a goal in six appearances, but brings far more to the team than his finishing alone. Uses the ball well, influences play in the number 10 role, though he came up against a determined competitor in Danny Baath.