Burnley are going into Europe. Brighton, it would appear, are still going to the wire.
A goalless draw at Turf Moor was only half the story as results elsewhere in the Premier League had just as much of an impact on these two clubs.
Leicester’s defeat at Crystal Palace means that Burnley will end a 52-year absence from European competition unless they lose their remaining two fixtures, Everton win both theirs, and there is a 15 goal swing.
Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan makes an unorthodox save on the goal line after a scramble in the box to keep it 0-0
Ryan was forced into making multiple saves during a hectic moment in the game as Brighton somehow kept Burnley out
Burnley players surround the referee and appeal for handball after that scramble results in Shane Duffy clearing off the line
Ashley Barnes (right) had three attempts saved before Duffy cleared off the line, with Burnley claiming he used his arm
Johann Berg Gudmundsson takes a freekick for Burnley from the edge of the area but is unable to break the deadlock
It is highly unlikely to happen so Sean Dyche and his players could be forgiven for already making plans for the Europa League next season.
It’s a fantastic achievement for Burnley just two years after returning to the top-flight. They can still overtake Arsenal, their next opponents at the Emirates in a week’s time, which would be quite a send-off for Arsene Wenger.
For Brighton, a point at Turf Moor was not the worst result in the world against such strong opponents. It would require a disastrous combination of results to send them down now, but Southampton’s win over Bournemouth means it is still possible.
Considering that Brighton’s remaining fixtures are against the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool, they may not pick up any more points this season. It promises to be a nervy end to a season that seemed to be done and dusted at one stage for manager Chris Hughton.
With so much dependent on what happened elsewhere, it was perhaps not surprising that the first half developed into a cautious affair that brought very little goalmouth incident besides one crazy scramble in the 25th minute.
Ashley Barnes (centre left) competes for the header with Brighton’s Lewis Dunk (centre right) and Shane Duffy (right)
Leonardo Ulloa (left) battles with Kevin Long (centre) in the at Turf Moor as both sides struggled to break the deadlock
Sean Dyche (right) and Chris Hughton (left) direct their teams from the touchlines but are unable to make the difference
Barnes is involved once again as he exchanges words with Gaetan Bong (left) during the first-half at Turf Moor
Ulloa runs with the ball while fending off Jack Cork (left) during a physical battle against Burnley during an end-to-end game
It began with Joey Gudmundsson’s freekick pumped into the penalty box which was inadvertently directed towards his own goal by Brighton skipper Bruno. Ashley Barnes lunged in hoping to turn the ball over the line, but keeper Mat Ryan kept it out and two follow-up efforts from Jack Cork as players piled in.
Brighton thought they had escaped, but James Tarkowski backheeled the ball across goal. Kevin Long tried to turn it in at the far post and Burnley appealed in vain for handball as it appeared to hit Shane Duffy on the arm.
There was little else to set the pulse racing although the in-form Barnes, who came into this match having scored on six of his last eight Premier League games, did his best to cause Brighton problems.
Having drawn a foul and a booking from Dale Stephens with a run to the edge of the box, Barnes went closest to breaking the deadlock in the 38th minute.
Tarkowski started the move with a strong run down the right before laying the ball off to Matthew Lowton. The full-back crossed to the edge of the six-yard box where Barnes met it with a first-time volley straight at Ryan.
PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope 6.5; Lowton 6.5, Tarkowski 6.5, Long 7, Ward 6; Lennon 6 (N’Koudou 72, 6), Cork 6, Westwood 6 (Hendrick 81), Gudmundsson 6.5; Barnes 7, Wood 6 (Vokes 66, 6).
Subs not used: Heaton, Taylor, Wells, Bardsley.
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Ryan 7; Bruno 6.5 (Schelotto 89), Duffy 7.5, Dunk 6.5, Bong 6.5; Stephens 6, Kayal 6.5; Knockaert 6.5, Gross 6, Izquierdo 7 (March 85); Ulloa 6 (Murray 67, 6).
Subs not used: Krul, Goldson, Locadia, Suttner.
Booked: Stephens, Murray
Referee: Roger East 7
Star man: Shane Duffy
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Aaron Lennon (right) battles for the ball with Brighton’s Bong and Beram Kay (centre) as both teams still had plenty to play for
Burnley fans laugh and wince as Anthony Knockaert falls off the edge of the pitch and down towards the advertising boards
Westwood unleashes a fierce shot goalward bound but failed to find the net as the game ended in a goalless draw
Brighton defender Gaetan Bong’s every touch was booed by the home fans, no doubt in view of the recent racism controversy involving Bong and former Burnley favourite Jay Rodriguez, now at West Brom.
And there was a flashpoint at the end of the first half when Gundmundsson went down injured and Burnley were unhappy that Brighton played on. Players had to be separated as they headed for the tunnel, with Lowton and Beram Kayal in the thick of it.
The second half continued in a similar vein with very little to separate the sides, even though Burnley saw more of the ball.
Dyche sent on Sam Vokes for Chris Wood in search of a breakthrough after the former Leeds man was injured in a challenge with Bruno, and Hughton responded immediately by replacing Leonardo Ulloa with Glenn Murray.
It brought little change and both clubs had reason to be satisfied with a point.
Kay falls to the ground after coming together with Sam Vokes as the Brighton players appeal for a free-kick
Sean Dyche barks orders at his players as they struggle to score against Brighton despite their strong record at home
Jeff Hendrick (left) braces himself for a tackle from Pascal Gross during a physical battle at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon
Knockaert (right) has his cross blocked by James Tarkowski as both sides put in an excellent defensive display
The Turf Moor faithful look on as their side edge closer to European football next season, which is now all but confirmed