Burnley increase 14 points lead at the top


After a scoreless draw against Sunderland at home, championship leaders Burnley increased their lead over the pack to 14 points and made it 18 games without a loss.

Both teams missed opportunities in the lackluster draw, with the Black Cats threatening to hand Burnley their first home loss of the year when Anass Zaroury missed wide.

Amad Diallo’s deflected shot that struck the crossbar in the 69th minute did little to help 11th-placed Sunderland’s chances of making the play-offs as it was their first scoreless game in 20 league games.

With four minutes left, Abdoullah Ba nearly put the ball in the back of the Burnley net, but an offside flag stopped him, and Sunderland became the first team to go undefeated at Turf Moor this season.

With an outstanding first-half performance from Sunderland, Patrick Roberts and Daniel Neil tested the home goalkeeper Aro Muric, while Ashley Barnes squandered two good opportunities for Burnley.

For the hosts, the in-form Nathan Tella was unable to recapture his recent clinical finishing, while the vivacious Manuel Benson and Josh Brownhill also missed when well-positioned after the break as neither team was able to score a goal.

The Clarets now just need a maximum of eight points from their last eight games to secure their immediate return to the Premier League.

The club led by Vincent Kompany is 17 points ahead of Middlesbrough, which they will face on April 7 in their subsequent league match.

When their longest streak of goals in second-tier games since 2005 came to an end, Sunderland are still in 11th place.

The final play-off spot is held by Millwall, who could increase their deficit to nine points if they win at West Brom on Saturday. Tony Mowbray’s team are six points behind them.

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