REPORT: Brighton 0 Burnley 0

Brighton & Hove Albion were held to their fourth draw in five home games after drawing 0-0 with Burnley in a frustrating afternoon at the AMEX.

Brighton were without a win in six games, while Sean Dyche’s side had won six of their last eight, although seemed content with a point at full time.

Burnley’s renowned ruggedness was visible in the eighth minute, when bulky striker Chris Wood shoved Shane Duffy in the back, illegally creating himself space for a header which Mathew Ryan reacted to well.

Albion countered explosively in the 21st minute, as Stephens rolled the ball to Pascal Gross on the perimeter of the box. The German playmaker firmly arced the ball into Knockaert, whose sweet connection rattled the upright. Chris Hughton’s men kept pressing and, two minutes later, Lewis Dunk rose highest on a corner to direct a header goalward, but Phil Bardsley leapt to clear it off the line.

Following continuous passages of dominance, Albion earned a penalty – earned being the operative word. Running away from the box, Glenn Murray tangled his right leg inside that of James Tarkowski’s, and the pair fell together. Chris Kavanagh’s index finger pointed to the spot. Murray picked up the ball with conviction, but struck it with too much, as it flew over the bar.

In the 52nd minute, Lewis Dunk drove forward after intercepting Wood and slid in Anthony Knockaert on the right flank. The Frenchman bustled forward and manufactured a stabbed effort, which was steered out by Nick Pope’s outstretched arm. More knocks with no answer.

In the following eight minutes, the game entered a state of tennis – each side squandering possession. Burnley stitched together their first meaningful attack of the half when Jeff Hendrick meandered forward and passed to Scott Arfield, 12 yards out, but the midfielder struck it straight at Ryan.

With the wily traits Burnley have learned this season, they looked the more likely to edge a winner. It seemed that may happen in the 74th minute, as Hendrick played a through ball towards Wood, who timed his run perfectly to enter the Brighton third with only Ryan in sight. The Australian scampered out the feet of the Kiwi, however, and Wood’s chip was smothered by Ryan.

Both sides made attacking substitutions in the last 15 minutes, but were not able to sharpen their attacking blades. Brighton enter the busy Christmas schedule with a home game against Watford next Saturday.

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