Football Echo Verdict: Burnley 0 Sunderland 0

Sunderland sub Jozy Altidore battles Burnley defender Ben Mee today
Sunderland sub Jozy Altidore battles Burnley defender Ben Mee today
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“DON’T SACK Pardew” rang out from the 4,000-strong away end throughout the second half at Turf Moor, before dying down after the Magpies’ late comeback.

There was arguably more support for the under-fire Newcastle boss in East Lancashire, than there was at St James’s Park.

But the distraction of events on Tyneside told its own story.

Until the dying stages when the two sides shared a couple of efforts against the woodwork, this was a game where anyone present could have been forgiven for glueing their ears to the transistor radio for the scores elsewhere.

It was dire, scrappy stuff where neither side looked like scoring.

On the plus side, Sunderland at least added another point to the tally and kept a clean sheet in the Premier League for the first time this season.

But a fourth draw in five top flight games undoubtedly has to go into the category of missed opportunities.

Burnley were very well organised defensively and predictably pressed well.

However, when it came to a goal threat...

Without the services of last season’s lethal strike pair Danny Ings and Sam Vokes - both currently on the treatment table - it is obvious why the Clarets are struggling to add to a goals for column which has remained blank since the opening weekend of the campaign.

Ex-Middlesbrough frontman Lukas Jutkiewicz ruffled the feathers of John O’Shea and Wes Brown, but at this level, he’s not sufficiently dangerous.

But concerningly for Sunderland, they didn’t look much more threatening.

Other than Patrick van Aanholt’s stoppage time thunderbolt - which somehow bounced back off Burnley keeper Tom Heaton and wide - there was plenty of huff and puff from Sunderland, but precious few real red alerts for the Clarets.

Sunderland were painstaking in their eagerness to play the ball across the back-line, while when they got into the Burnley half, they were time and again caught dallying in possession.

From the fifth minute when Lee Cattermole’s poor backwards header let Burnley in and Marvin Sordell scuffed horribly wide, there was a sloppiness around the visitors.

There was nothing for Connor Wickham to feed on, while the introduction of Jozy Altidore in support from a wide role didn’t improve matters either. The spectacle became even worse if anything.

The only Sunderland player who looked as if he had the idea of how to improve things was Jack Rodwell.

This was the sharpest performance so far from the £10million summer signing, who genuinely fulfilled that remit of going box-to-box.

Had the ball landed a touch more kindly, he could easily have got the goal which the encounter so dearly needed.

Inevitably against a newly-promoted outfit, facing a game which they would have equally pinpointed for their first win of the campaign, there was a helter-skelter element to proceedings.

This was bound to be a scrap where dogged determination was required.

But Sunderland have an extra bit of Premier League quality in their ranks compared to the Clarets. They needed to use it.

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