Aston Villa were left frustrated as they missed the chance to move up the table after a goalless draw with Burnley at Villa Park.
27 unconverted chances proved costly as Villa failed to find a way past a well organised Sean Dyche side, in a game which will be seen as two points dropped.
Dean Smith made four changes to the side that defeated their West Midlands rivals Wolves five days ago, with suspensions and an illness to Ezri Konsa forcing a rotated line-up to be named.
The hosts started the game brightly, forcing Burnley’s defence into a string of blocks. The first chance fell to Bertrand Traore, his volley brushed the top of bar within the opening five minutes.
Burnley had scored in all of their last ten visits to Villa Park, and that run looked to have continued 18 minutes in. A tricky run from Dwight McNeil caused problems for Villa who were then let of the hook when Ashely Westwood’s effort curled narrowly away from the far post.
Minutes later Traore was again involved for Villa going forward. A ball from the left picked out the Burkina Faso international back post but his effort was blocked by the body of left back, Charlie Taylor.
After nearly conceding at one end, the visitors almost went ahead at the other. A cross found Chris Wood perfectly, however the striker’s header was finely saved by the inform Emiliano Martinez.
Ahmed Elmohamady almost created the opening goal on his first league start of the campaign. The Egyptian’s deflected strike from the edge of the box needed clearing off the line by former Villain, Matt Lowton who was in the right place to keep the score levels.
Jack Grealish was having his usual dictating effect on the game and from a free kick which he won, Anwar El Ghazi forced Nick Pope into a fantastic save. The fingertips of the England goalkeeper deprived the winger his second goal in as many games by
It looked as though Villa found a break through minutes before the half time whistle when an in swinging corner was met by Kortney Hause. After a flick on at the near post, the centre back couldn’t quite react in time as his header crashed against the post.
The second half started in the same fashion the first ended, with Villa piling endless pressure on the Burnley defence. Chance after chance fell the home side’s way, however each was matched with the same unwanted outcome.
Ollie Watkins saw his header easily dealt with by Pope, before El Ghazi went close with a strike from distance which narrowly curled wide of the post to the relief of the Burnley shot stopper.
The Villans continued to assert authority, with Grealish at the heart of their chances created. The skipper drove at the Burnley backline from halfway before slipping in El Ghazi who could only manage a tame and wasteful shot at goal.
As the overall intensity of the game faded in the closing 20 minutes, and Burnley settling for a stalemate, Smith’s team continued their attempt to break the deadlock. A quick free kick routine found its way to Traore on the edge of the box but a heavy touch from the loanee allowed the block to be made.
Frustration began kicking in for the home side who had seen all of their 27 chances created result in no end product. With minutes remaining, Grealish won yet another free kick on the edge of the box, which was quickly played to the right and swung in to the onrushing Tyrone Mings whose header zipped wide.
Villa continued rallying forward and had their final chance as the game entered injury time. Grealish cut inside from the left before firing his effort over the bar.