Clarets boss Sean Dyche was left scratching his head at how Middlesbrough managed to steal the points at Turf Moor in a one-sided game.
Burnley needed a win, allied with Derby failing to beat Huddersfield at the iPro Stadium, to seal their elevation to the Premier League.
But despite enjoying 71% possession, 27 shots to 10 and 14 corners, the Clarets lost out to Jacob Butterfield’s goal on the break from a Burnley flag kick just after the hour.
Dyche was delighted with his side’s performance, but not amused at referee Dean Whitestone’s abject display, turning a blind eye to a handful of penalty claims.
He said: “We were scratching our head at everything.
“It’s a top end performance by our standards, totally dominant, fantastic energy, fantastic quality on show. It’s incredible the ball doesn’t arrive in their net at some point. Their keeper is man of the match, and the officials weren’t man of the match.
“There were certainly two blatant penalties. It’s incredible.
“We’ve had seven not given this season, now it’s nine.
“How do you fathom it?”