Sunderland will face Burnley in an Emirates FA Cup replay following a 0-0 draw between the sides at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats produced an industrious display with Jack Rodwell’s standout performance typifying their application, with the midfielder bossing the play while also seeing a number of efforts work the Burnley defence.
Jason Denayer, who started in the centre of defence, also stood out on his return to action, with the post coming to the Lads’ rescue late on as James Tarkowski’s bullet header left Vito Mannone rooted to the spot.
The result means Sunderland will be in the hat for Monday’s draw, but they’ll need to banish their Turf Moor demons if they’re to confirm their place in the fourth round.
David Moyes selected a strong side to face the Clarets with Jermain Defoe spearheading the Black Cats’ attack at the Stadium of Light.
Patrick van Aanholt, Fabio Borini and Adnan Januzaj were also named in the starting XI, with Mannone also retaining his place as academy starlets George Honeyman, Ethan Robson, George Honeyman, Josh Maja and Joel Asoro waited in reserve.
Sunderland made a sharp start as Januzaj and Borini toyed with the Burnley defence, but the Clarets held firm and were alert to deny Rodwell a sight at goal following a tidy flick from Defoe.
The same can be said for Mannone who stayed cool under pressure to clear an unorthodox back pass soon after, with Andre Gray firing over the top as Sean Dyche’s side mustered their first attempt with six minutes played.
After impressing against Liverpool, Rodwell picked up where he left off and he controlled the tempo of the game from the base of midfield, but he also got forward on multiple occasions and as the game ticked over the ten-minute mark he sent a rasping effort inches wide.
Burnley’s best chance of the opening stages fell to Sam Vokes who timed his run to perfection to evade Papy Djilobodji, but, one on one, the Welshman was denied by a stunning save from Mannone
Moyes’ men soon gained control of the contest and Burnley struggled to see the ball, particularly in the midfield as the industrious Rodwell bossed his counterparts, but they failed to make their dominance count and it remained 0-0 as the interval approached.
However, they did step up the intensity to their play in the final five minutes of the opening period, with Borini’s sumptuous through ball splitting the Burnley defence in two before wasteful play from Javier Manquillo ended the attack.
And they could have been made to pay as Gray attempted to unleash Vokes with a clever flick, but Mannone was alert to clear the danger as the sides entered the break level.
Burnley moved up a gear in the opening stages of the second half but they were soon put on the back foot, with Rodwell driving into the box before firing a cross towards the near post where Tarkowski diverted the ball narrowly wide.
And, like a man possessed, the midfielder continued his one-man assault against the Burnley defence moments later as ‘keeper Nick Pope tipped his 20-yard drive over the crossbar.
The Clarets were forced into a change on the hour mark as Scott Arfield was forced off and Michael Kightly arrived on the scene, but Sunderland remained firmly in control as Januzaj led the charge for a winner.
Burnley did however remain a threat on the break, and with 68 minutes played Denayer produced a vital interception to clear Vokes’ cross towards Gray who would have had a simple finish.
A flicker of panic followed as Djilobodji failed to clear and the ball dropped to Gray, but once again Denayer took control of the situation to clear the danger.
And when the Blaack Cats’ resilience was finally breached, the post came to the rescue, as Tarkowski sent a thumping header against the woodwork.
Galvanised in the closing stages, Burnley continued to apply immense pressure on the Sunderland defence, but a heroic block from Denayer denied Ashley Barnes and ensured the two sides will meet again at Turf Moor.
Sunderland: Mannone, Manquillo, Denayer, Djilobodji, van Aanholt, Love, Rodwell, Larsson (O'Shea 84), Borini, Januzaj, Defoe.
Subs not used: Mika, E Robson, Honeyman Embleton, Asoro, Maja.
Burnley: Pope, Darikwa, Tarkowski, Keane, Ward, Gudmundsson (Hendrick 72), Defour, Barton, Arfield (Kightly 60), Gray (Barnes 72), Vokes.
Subs not used: Lowton, Mee, Marney, Robinson.
Attendance: 17, 632