Analysis: Why Burnley are more than just a strong defensive unit

The Clarets kept another clean sheet against Huddersfield on Saturday but also have plenty of talent going forward.

Analysis: Why Burnley are more than just a strong defensive unit
Burnley looked strong going forward despite not scoring (photo: Getty Images / Alex Dodd)

Burnley did everything but score as they were held to a goalless draw by Huddersfield Town in their final match of a successful 2017.

Positive play from the Clarets

In a contest between two of the year's surprise packages, the fact that David Wagner's side were content to sit back and soak up pressure for the entirety of the contest proved just how much respect the Terriers have for an impressive Burnley outfit.

Wagner himself admitted after the game that he was "happy with the point against a very good Burnley team". The Clarets are usually the team looking to contain and strike on the counter but they faced a different problem on Saturday afternoon.

Faced with a wall of ten blue and white shirts as Laurent Depoitre worked the line up front for Huddersfield on his own, Burnley were being tested with their ability to break down an organised unit on their own patch.

Yet the Clarets proved again, as they have done several times already this season, that they have the ability to play a productive short passing game to unhinge even the tightest defensive lock. This was in evidence against Manchester United but lacking against Tottenham Hotspur in two contrasting performances over the festive period.

Luck not on the side of the visitors

Burnley were close to breaking the deadlock on a handful of occasions as Jonas Lossl was forced into numerous stops, most notably from Nakhi Wells late in the day as he returned to first-team action.

The one time Burnley did beat Lossl, after more fast and intricate build-up play, the Huddersfield goalkeeper was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty after tripping Jeff Hendrick with the Irishman on his way to goal. Lossl himself admitted "there was contact" but no penalty was given.

Despite being the visitors, Burnley's dominance was underpinned by the fact they had 11 shots to only three from the hosts. Although they may see this game as two points lost, the performance and tactics of both sides show that this current impressive streak by Sean Dyche's side is no fluke and Burnley have plenty of momentum to take into 2018.