Sunderland 0-0 Burnley: Black Cats fail to score again in goalless draw
By James Dale
Last Updated: 18/03/17 11:39pm
Sunderland stay bottom of the Premier League after failing to score for the fourth consecutive game in their 0-0 draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light.
Substitute Sam Vokes almost stole the points for Burnley, yet to win on their travels this season, late on after a spirited second-half performance from David Moyes' side.
Billy Jones, Fabio Borini and Adnan Januzaj all failed with goalscoring chances as the hosts went in search of a winner, but could not find a way through as Burnley earned only their third away point of the campaign.
The result means Jermain Defoe, who was this week called up to Gareth Southgate's England squad, will end his record of scoring in every month of top-flight action since January 2016 (12 successive months) but his team-mates, more importantly, are mired in relegation trouble - seven points from safety.
Jason Denayer's introduction, in for the injured Lamine Kone, unsettled Sunderland's defence as the enthusiastic Jordan Pickford rushed out too eagerly in the opening stages, the young goalkeeper grateful to see Ashley Barnes' attempted lob come to nothing inside seven minutes.
Burnley, unchanged from their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, would have been a goal up four minutes later had George Boyd connected with Stephen Ward's low cross.
As Sunderland struggled, Joey Barton maintained the atmosphere drawing boos at almost every touch, before earning the biggest cheer when he was deservedly booked for fouling the escaping Januzaj.
But Burnley continued to press and should have led three minutes before the break when Barnes met Scott Arfield's cross, but the striker managed to put it wide from less than six yards.
Sunderland came out fired up in the second half though, with Januzaj's volley batted away by Tom Heaton after an excellent cross from Defoe.
Full-back Jones then had the home side's best chance in the 63rd minute, but somehow headed wide of Heaton's goal after Sebastian Larsson's superb delivery.
After Borini went clear only to hit his shot straight at Heaton, Vokes then capitalised on an error from Denayer to race through on goal three minutes from time, but Pickford's low save ensured Sunderland ended the game with at least a point, though they remain adrift.
Sunderland: Pickford (6), Jones (5), Oviedo (6), Denayer (6), O'Shea (7), Rodwell (7), Gibson (6), Larsson (6), Borini (6), Januzaj (5), Defoe (6)
Subs used: Ndong (7), Khazri (6)
Burnley: Heaton (7), Ward (7), Mee (7), Keane (6), Lowton (6), Arfield (7), Hendrick (6), Barton (7), Boyd (6), Barnes (6), Gray (6)
Subs used: Brady (6), Vokes (6)
Man of the match: Ben Mee