The Clarets earned their third Premier League point of the season after a third successive 0-0 draw - this time against Sunderland at Turf Moor.
But it’ll be another late slot on Match of the Day’s highlights package this evening for the Clarets with the show reel at Turf Moor somewhat unfulfilling.
Both Tom Heaton and visiting goalkeeper Vito Mannone were relative bystanders, making saves that were nothing more than a formality.
With back-to-back goalless draws against Manchester United and Crystal Palace, nobody can challenge Sean Dyche’s side for organisation, shape, discipline and an admirable work ethic.
But those attributes will only get a club so far in the Premier League. They’ve built the foundations, now they must learn to nick games after going five games without a goal in all competitions. It’s the first time the Clarets have endured such a sequence since a five-game run of defeats without a goal under Steve Cotterill in 2006.
The hosts weren’t short of working openings, but Marvin Sordell’s early miss only served to highlight the profligacy that the Clarets are currently experiencing. The striker, deputising for Danny Ings who limped off clutching his hamstring in the Selhurst Park stalemate, lacked the conviction needed from Lukas Jutkiewicz’s pass.
The 23-year-old former Bolton Wanderers frontman was working tirelessly to get in to goalscoring positions, though. The one-time England Under 21 international raced to the edge of the six-yard box sensing George Boyd’s centre only to be thwarted by John O’Shea’s anticipation as the Sunderland skipper intercepted.
After Kieran Trippier’s speculative effort was gathered by Mannone, the Italian made another routine save from Jutkiewicz’s deflected shot after David Jones illustrated the effectiveness of Burnley’s high press.
At times the visitors were cutting on the break, but the Black Cats’ decisiveness often negated the impact. With options to his left, Emanuele Giaccherini opted to shape an effort towards the far corner which Heaton gathered down to his left.
One thing’s for sure, the Clarets certainly don’t look out of place at this level. Some of the build up play is spellbinding, it’s just lacking that cutting, clinical edge required in England’s top tier.
That proved to be the case again when Trippier and Jones combined intricately from a throw-in; the latter then followed his darting pass in to Boyd before drilling straight at Mannone from the return.
Gus Poyet’s side then opted for the diagonal route in a bid to halt Burnley’s miserly defensive record. Santiago Vergini supplied the diagonal, Wes Brown sent the ball in to the path of Giaccherini and his penetrative pass seemed perfect for Jack Rodwell until Ben Mee intervened from the midfielder’s blind side.
The former Manchester City midfielder was soon involved again when heading in to the hands of Heaton after Connor Wickham towered above his marker to meet Seb Larsson’s centre. The Swede then supplied the cross as Vergini glanced wide of the far post.
The away side’s decision making was brought in to question again when Wickham failed to test Heaton from Rodwell’s break, with Giaccherini a better option in space to his left.
After the break, Jutkiewicz and Rodwell both had efforts saved from distance while Jason Shackell hacked off the line from Giaccherini’s driven centre with Rodwell lurking behind.
At that moment both managers opted to make changes with Dyche introducing Ashley Barnes at the expense of Sordell while the animated Uruguayan brought on Jordi Gomez, Jozy Altidore and Will Buckley for Adam Johnson, Larsson and Giaccherini.
The changes served to bolster the shared ambition of both sides who went all out to claim a first win of the season. Mannone had to be alert at his near post to keep out Arfield’s audacious shot from an acute angle, and he palmed tom safety from Jutkiewicz’s angled drive with O’Shea booked retrospectively for a brazen pull on the striker’s shirt.
Once Jutkiewicz pulled wide from the edge of the box from Barnes’s cleverly cushioned assist, Ross Wallace stepped on for the injured Jones and provided the ammunition needed for a late flourish. The Scot’s cameo gave the away side plenty to think about - with Wes Brown forced to concede a corner once Mannone failed to deal with the winger’s whipped cross.
And in the final minutes of the fixture the woodwork came to the rescue of both sides. First Barnes’s shot looped over Mannone off the boot of Lee Cattermole before clipping the bar. Then Patrick Van Aanholt’s stinging drive struck the upright before being flicked to safety by the heel of Heaton.