Ten-man West Brom spurned several gilt-edged chances in a goalless draw as the Baggies missed the chance to boost their survival prospects at a blustery Turf Moor.
Mike Dean, refereeing his first match since asking for a break after receiving death threats on social media, gave Semi Ajayi his marching orders in the first half after the defender’s handball denied Matej Vydra from going clean through.
Despite being a man down for the remaining hour the relegation-threatened visitors had the clearer chances after the interval, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mbaye Diagne and Matheus Pereira all going close.
“The performance deserved a win,” said Sam Allardyce. “We didn’t do anything other than try to win this game even when we went down to 10 men. Creating the two best chances of the entire game in the second half, we’re all very disappointed we didn’t convert at least one of those. It would have brought us a very precious three points.”
Burnley, who welcomed back Ben Mee after concussion protocols, were unable to break down opponents who have the worst defensive record in the top flight this season and only registered one shot on target.
They had strong claims for a penalty when Kyle Bartley appeared to handle in the area but Dean waved away Burnley’s pleas on an afternoon when the difficult conditions made life tough for both sides.
It was the away side who showed more endeavour early on, with Maitland-Niles and Pereira lively. Darnell Furlong curled wide having cut on to his left foot, as did Pereira, who forced Nick Pope into a low save after Maitland-Niles had dispossessed Ashley Westwood in a dangerous position.
Just as it seemed West Brom were starting to find some fluency, they were reduced to 10 men on the half-hour, with Dean’s hopes of an inconspicuous outing dashed as Ajayi was dismissed for denying a clear goalscoring chance.
That was Dean’s view after a check with the video assistant referee, having initially been unmoved by the home side’s loud appeals for handball when Conor Gallagher’s loose backpass was intercepted by Vydra, whose first touch on halfway caused the ball to brush the right arm of Ajayi, preventing the striker from going through on goal.
Allardyce withdrew Matt Phillips and sent on Dara O’Shea in an attempt to shore up his backline, which was able to keep Burnley at bay for the remainder of half, but there was more drama to follow after the interval.
O’Shea’s header back to Bartley in West Brom’s area seemed to come off the visiting captain’s outstretched right arm, but Dean once again waved away Burnley protests and this time saw no need to consult a replay.
“From a distance it looks like a penalty but I’ve only seen it once quickly,” said Sean Dyche.
Okay Yokuslu came close to deflecting Westwood’s cross into his own goal, while - at the other end the dangerous Pereira let fly from the edge of the area, narrowly missing Pope’s right-hand post.
By this point West Brom had adjusted to their one-man deficit and twice came close to breaking the deadlock, with Maitland-Niles first blazing over after cutting on to his right foot and finding some space in the area. Diagne then created for himself the game’s best chance when he surged forward and went past James Tarkowski but clattered the top of the crossbar with his effort from six yards out.
Burnley were caught out once again when Maitland-Niles worked his way into the area. His square pass was behind Pereira, who collected the ball and unleashed a shot only for Tarkowski to get his body in the way on the line.
“We’ve still a bit to go to try to change these performances into victories,” said Allardyce. “And another game goes by, which means we get a little bit more desperate about trying to get three points in the next game.”