Six things we learned from Brighton's draw with Burnley
A first-half penalty miss by Glenn Murray proved the best chance of the game as Brighton & Hove Albion were held to a 0-0 draw with Burnley. Here's six things we learned from the 0-0 draw.
Chris Hughton said post Tottenham Hotspur that Albion had been missing some good fortune.
That was a pattern that showed no signs of letting up in the first half against Burnley with three gilt-edged chances that they failed to take.
Lewis Dunk saw his header cleared off the line, Anthony Knockaert's fierce volley crashed against a post and the best of the lot saw Glenn Murray's penalty end up in row Z.
They were three golden chances that on another could have seen them 3-0 up at half-time. And with Burnley arriving sixth in the table and in fine form is those moments that need to be taken.
While you make your own luck in life and in football, sometimes you need a bit of a point in the right direction, which Albion aren't having much of.
Paying the penalty
Glenn Murray's first-half penalty miss could have made the difference in getting Albion back to winning ways after three straight defeats.
Sean Dyche was livid on the touchline feeling it was softly awarded despite referee Chris Kavanagh being well placed and pointing straight to the spot. Murray was going away from goal and a tangle of legs saw the striker get his foot caught by James Tarkowski and take a tumble.
Albion's top scorer picked himself up, but uncharacteristically blazed well over the bar from 12 yards. It was the best opportunity of the game and while Burnley felt justice was done with the miss, Albion were left to rue one kick that would have heralded two extra points.
Top of the blocksLewis Dunk is often singled out for praise and with plenty of justification. The central defender once again put in a stand-out showing at the Amex this afternoon.
His body-on-the line defending and commitment to get in front of a shot is a pleasure to watch and an admirable trait. Two in quick succession during the first half epitomised his game, both times eliminating the threat from dangerous-looking shots from Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
It doesn't always work for him. With three own goals to his name already this season, he is just one shy of Martin Skrtel's record of four in a campaign, set in 2013-14. It's not a welcome stat, but something that comes as a risk of his flying blocks. And it's fair to say that his defending style has kept out many more efforts than it's cost Albion.
And while Dunk was top of the blocks at one end, ironically he wouldn't be thanking his fellow centre-half at the other. Dunk, who also had a header cleared off the line, sent a fiercly half volley towards Nick Pope's goal, but Shane Duffy got in the way and it cannoed behind off his back.
Mind the gapThat gap between Brighton and the relegation places in slowly disappearing.
Albion went into matchday 18 in 13th place, but only three points clear of the bottom three and a point ensured this stayed the same at 5pm.
But it does seem an age ago when they were up to the dizzy heights of eighth after a 1-0 win at Swansea in their 11th game of the season. It was a flying start that surprised even Albion themselves.
As things settle down in the Premier League, teams that didn't start so well are gradually building form. West Ham, Crystal Palace and Everton are all climbing and Albion slowly falling.
And while a point against a bang in-form Burnley, who arrived sitting sixth in the table, can be considered one gained, Albion are now winless in seven matches.
Albion ended their set-piece hoodoo with a much-welcomed clean sheet against Burnley.
Defensively last season, the Seagulls were tight at the back especially from corners, the powerful Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy commanding the area, but their record from set-pices this term has not been so impressive.
Before Burnley, Albion had conceded from set-pieces in five of their last six games - the only game they didn't was the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.
They were always going to face a test against a strong and physical Burnley side that try and get the ball forwards at every opportunity, but they stood up to the task well and actually looked far more threatening from set-pieces of their own at the other end.
Welcome back Barnes
There were a few familiar faces around the Amex with Burnley boasting three former Seagulls in their squad.
Striker Ashley Barnes got a warm reception from both sets of fans when he came off the bench in the 68th minute against a side he scored 146 goals for in just shy of 150 appearances.
Although those cheers soon turned into jeers when Barnes jumped into Mathew Ryan when he was collecting a high ball and was rightly booked.
As well as Barnes, former Albion man Chris Wood, started the match for the Clarets, with Sam Vokes on the bench, replacing Wood for the last ten minutes.
Wood, Barnes and Glenn Murray made up the strike trio when Albion won the League One title in 2011.
Stephen Ward, who featured for Albion in 2013/14 on loan from Wolves, missed out on a return to face his former side, being sidelines with a knee injury.