Burnley and Brighton edged closer to their respective targets in the Premier League as they drew at Turf Moor.Seventh-placed Burnley failed to secure the win that – combined with Leicester’s defeat at Crystal Palace – would have guaranteed European football next season.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW
But Sean Dyche’s side need just one more point from their last two games to secure their place in the Europa League.The Clarets had two penalty appeals for handball turned down in the first half, but both – against Shane Duffy and Bruno – would have been harsh on the visitors.
The draw means Brighton – without a win in six league games – slip to 14th, but they are five points clear of the relegation zone with three matches to play.
With Leicester taking themselves out of contention with a 5-0 defeat at Crystal Palace, Burnley can start making tentative plans for European football next season. Though Everton can match their points total after a 2-0 win at Huddersfield, they would need to beat both Southampton and West Ham – and make up a 15-goal deficit.
Burnley would also have to lose to Arsenal and Bournemouth, and with just one loss in their past eight matches, back-to-back defeats seem unlikely.They kept Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan on his toes in the first half at Turf Moor, but Ashley Barnes’ effort and Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick lacked the quality needed to beat the Australia international.
And the Clarets’ year-long wait for a penalty goes on, with Duffy and Bruno having little chance to get out of the way of close-range efforts struck at them.The only real negative for Burnley was an injury to Chris Wood, with the striker forced off after 66 minutes with a foot injury that required stitches.
Premier League for Brighton?
At the other end of the table, Brighton have fixtures left against Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool as they look to remain in the top flight.That will not make pleasant reading for Brighton boss Chris Hughton, whose side are now on a run of 11 away games without a win since beating Swansea in November.
They have failed to score in eight of those games, and will visit Etihad Stadium and Anfield after hosting Manchester United on Friday night.And if his side are to get anything out of those trips, Hughton may need to rethink his policy of starting Leonardo Ulloa ahead of Glenn Murray in the lone striker role.
That is not to say Brighton would have been heading south with three points instead of just one had Murray played for the first 66 minutes, but the English striker is more of a presence in the final third.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton speaking to Match of the Day: “Certainly a point we deserved. I thought we were the better side, more likely to score. Burnley are very effective and we had to defend well, but I thought we had the better opportunities.
“We have the points in the bag and those below us have to win games. We will go into every game with the possibility of getting the points in all of them – we have every chance if we go into the games with the endeavour we did today.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche speaking to Sky Sports: “It was a game of huff and puff, lacking quality. A lot of endeavour, good habits and doing the basics. It’s hard to question these lads, you have the odd dip in form and to come out with a point is a good measure.
“It’s still a good point, still a clean sheet, but not the performance we’re used to. I’m very pleased with the whole season, to say the least.”
Burnley travel to Arsenal in their next Premier League match on Sunday, 6 May (16:30 BST), after Brighton host Manchester United on Friday, 4 May (20:00 BST).