In a match which was billed as much Sean Dyche vs Aitor Karanka as it was Burnley vs Middlesbrough, Andre Gray would be the deciding factor as his strike earned the Clarets the win.
The teams from Lancashire and Teesside exchanged blows but ultimately neither could score the decisive goal until Gray's 80th minute strike, which snuck in following a Victor Valdes error.
Burnley pipped Middlesbrough to the Championship title last season, and this was the first top flight meeting between the two sides in 40 years.
It was clear that the game was going to be a feisty one when Marten de Roon picked up a yellow card with in the first 60 seconds of play.
Burnley has the first shot of the game when Ashley Barnes' shot was scuffed at Middlesbrough's Spanish 'keeper Victor Valdes in the sixth minute.
Boro's first chance came in the 12th minute as Cristhian Stuani latched on to a Antonio Barragan pass, but the Uruguayan could only fire wide.
Burnley looked to be on top at this time and they had a penalty turned down by Craig Pawson. Pawson was officiating his first game since controvertially sending off Jamie Vardy against Stoke City last week. The ball looked to strike Calum Chambers on the arm, but the referee didn't point to the spot.
The best chance of the game fell to the home side as Dyche saw George Boyd sting the palms of Boro's goalkeeper, but Valdes did well to save the free kick which was layed off the the Scotsman Boyd.
The fifth yellow card of the first half went to Barragan, which means the former Valenica full back will miss Middlesbrough's trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.
He would win a free kick to Middlesbrough on the edge of the box in the 58th minute handball. The shot from Ramirez, however, didn't trouble Tom Heaton in the Clarets' goal. Heaton made another good save from a Stuani header soon after.
Middlesbrough seemed to have the better of the second half, but could not create any guilt edged opportunities.
Gray goal wins it
Burnley would take advantage of this as with 10 minutes to go, Gray striking after a flick on from substitute Sam Vokes and Valdes couldn't keep it out despite being in a comfortable position to save. That proved to be the most crucial act of the game, and the final one.
This result ends Burnley's five games streak of consecutive losses and they move up to 14th, one place ahead of Middlesbrough who drop to 15th.