SUNDERLAND recorded a fourth draw from five Premier League outings after a dire stalemate at newly-promoted Burnley.
The Black Cats’ search for a top flight victory continues after they were unable to find a breakthrough, in an ugly, scrappy encounter at Turf Moor.
Both sides had struggled to create anything clear-cut until the dying stages when each were denied by the woodwork.
Burnley substitute Ashley Barnes saw his shot deflected off the crossbar, before Patrick van Aanholt’s drive hit the post, before coming back off Clarets stopper Tom Heaton and bouncing behind.
Emanuele Giaccherini made his first start of the season after taking the place of new signing Ricky Alvarez.
Giaccherini was used in a central midfield role alongside Jack Rodwell and Lee Cattermole, with Seb Larsson moving to the right and Adam Johnson on the left.
Alvarez wasn’t even in the starting XI due to a knock, with Danny Graham taking the vacant spot on the bench, rather than Steven Fletcher or Sebastian Coates.
There was just one change for Burnley, with striker Marvin Sordell replacing the injured Danny Ings. Former Sunderland winger Ross Wallace was on the bench for the Clarets.
Burnley should have made more of a poor backwards header from Cattermole in the fifth minute, which was pounced upon by Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The former Middlesbrough striker pulled the ball back into the path of Sordell, but the frontman scuffed his shot from eight yards out.
Sunderland produced their first effort on goal in the 11th minute, when Giaccherini jinked inside from the left and hit a right-footed shot from the edge of the area which was gathered cleanly by Burnley stopper Tom Heaton.
Connor Wickham shot straight at Heaton from the edge of the area 10 minutes before the interval, when he should have played in the overlapping Giaccherini on the counter-attack.
HALF-TIME Burnley 0 Sunderland 0
After an attritional first half, Poyet tweaked his system at the interval, with Giaccherini moving to the left, Johnson switching to the right and Larsson reverting to central midfield.
Rodwell tried his luck from 25 yards in the 53rd minute, with a decent left-footed shot which Heaton could only gather at the second attempt.
Moments later, Giaccherini found space down the left-hand side of the area, but his low cross was blocked in the six-yard box by Jason Shackell with Rodwell waiting.
In the 63rd minute, Wickham shot low from 20 yards, but it drifted a foot wide of the post.
Vito Mannone was called into action in the 78th minute when Jutkiewicz held off John O’Shea to David Jones’ ball into his feet and turned to bear down on goal.
An off-balance Jutkiewicz hit a left-footed shot from 15 yards which was pushed away to his right by Mannone.
The woodwork spared Sunderland with three minutes to go after the Black Cats were hit on the counter-attack.
Scott Arfield laid the ball back to substitute Ashley Barnes, whose left-footed shot from 20 yards deflected off Cattermole and crashed back flush off the crossbar.
Sunderland hit the woodwork themselves in stoppage time when van Aanholt struck an angled drive from 25 yards which crashed back off the far post, hit the heels of Heaton before bouncing behind, when it looked as if the ball would richochet back into the net.
FULL-TIME Burnley 0 Sunderland 0
BURNLEY: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Arfield, Jones (Wallace 86), Marney, Boyd (Reid 90), Sordell (Barnes 62), Jutkiewicz. Subs not used: Gilks, Kightly, Keane, Ward. Booked: Marney (90)
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Larsson (Gomez 67), Rodwell, Giaccherini (Buckley 72), Johnson (Altidore 67), Wickham. Subs not used: Pantilimon, Jones, Bridcutt, Graham. Booked: Rodwell (62).
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