This is how it played out as Sunderland dig deep to earn encouraging point at Burnley

Sunderland earned an impressive point at Turf Moor on Friday night, becoming the first team since Manchester City to prevent Vincent Kompany’s side from scoring on home turf for almost a year.
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The point does little to change Sunderland’s status in the Championship table, but their endeavour and organisation will give supporters and management significant encouragement going forward.

The Black Cats yielded the majority of possession through the game but were only opened up on occasions and had some good chances of their own, striking the bar through a deflected Amad effort. They were worthy of their point.

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Burnley had come into the game in imperious form and though they dominated possession right from the off, it was to Sunderland’s credit that they gave the home crowd little to celebrate. Mowbray’s side were pressing but not recklessly, allowing Vincent Kompany’s side the ball until they sensed an opportunity.

Patrick Roberts in action at Turf MoorPatrick Roberts in action at Turf Moor
Patrick Roberts in action at Turf Moor

The early moments of promise fell to the visitors, Gelhardt doing well to pinch the ball on the edge of the area but finding himself just unable to carve out the opening for a shot. Moments later, another promising move ended with Pierre Ekwah slicing a volley wide on his full debut.

It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that Burnley caused a real issue, with Gooch defending superbly to deny a big opening. Sunderland dealt poorly with the corner but Patterson was there to save from Harwood-Bellis. After that came Sunderland’s most promising spell of the half, Roberts forcing a decent save from Muric after Gelhardt won an excellent challenge in the middle of the pitch. The corner fell to Neil on the edge of the area, and though his connection on the volley was sweet the goalkeeper was able to gather.

Towards the final stages of the half the quality of the home side began to show, the visitors stretched for the first time in the contest. Sunderland felt they had cleared a cross and dealt with the danger from the right flank, but an excellent hooked pass from Brownhill left Barnes in space. The striker should have scored, but could only slice his effort well over the bar. Brownhill almost did the job himself moments later, but Gooch was again on hand to make a big contribution as he dove to block.

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Sunderland began the second half brightly and drew one save from Muric after Roberts broke into the box, but the hosts quickly settled and began to play with more purpose and incision than they had managed for much of the first half – the visitors fortunate that when Tella was found on the overlap in the box he could only fire weakly at Patterson.

The hosts had their best chance yet just before the hour mark when a cross found its way to Zaroury at the back post, but his connection was poor and gave Sunderland a reprieve.

Mowbray turned to Amad and Michut from the bench and it almost yielded an instant reward, the former striking the crossbar after Roberts found him inside the box at the end of a quick break forward. It was superb defending from Cullen to slide in and make the block, and a moment of fortune for Burnley that the ball dropped onto the woodwork with the goalkeeper beaten.

Sunderland continued to withstand the pressure and had the ball in the net with just over five minutes to play, but the offside flag was correctly raised as Ba was blocking the view of the goalkeeper as Clarke’s low cross found its way into the far corner.

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Burnley XI: Muric; Roberts, Beyer, Harwood-Bellis, Maatsen; Benson (Vitinho, 82), Brownhill, Cullen, Zaroury (Gudmundsson, 67); Barnes (Obafemi, 78), Tella

Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Cork, Ekdal, Vitinho, Twine

Sunderland XI: Patterson; Hume, O’Nien, Batth, Gooch; Neil, Ekwah (Michut, 63); Roberts (Lihadji, 75), Pritchard (Ba, 75), Clarke (Cirkin, 87); Gelhardt (Amad, 63)

Subs: Bass, Anderson

Bookings: Cullen, 53 Maatsen, 57