Burnley 0 Leicester City 1
David Nugent came back to haunt Burnley once more with the only goal of an edgy Turf Moor clash.
The ex-Clarets striker struck the seventh goal against his former club with a neat toe-poked finish on the half hour mark.
And Burnley, who lost star striker Charlie Austin to injury early in the game, lacked the cutting edge to force a share of the spoils and enter the New Year sitting pretty in the top half of the table,
With Austin passing a late fitness test and Keith Treacy starting his first Championship game since February, hopes were high that the Clarets could force a second home win in four days.
Treacy had replaced Martin Paterson in Sean Dyche’s starting line-up, but Paterson was soon back in the action after the move to start Austin backfired.
The 23-goal striker, a doubt with a hamstring injury, lasted just seven minutes before being withdrawn.
Following the enforced change, Burnley understandably took a while to settle.
However, in the 17th minute it was Paterson, chasing a long ball down the right, who crossed for Danny Ings to head wide.
Immediately at the opposiute end, Lee Grant was forced into action for the first time as the Clarets keeper spring to his left to turn aside Ben Marshall’s effort.
Back came Burnley and following a driving run from midfield by Dean Marney, Paterson couldn’t find the power to beat Kasper Schmeichel with a low, angled drive.
Following that flurry of chances the Foxes, who made two changes as they looked to end a four-game winless run, enjoyed large swathes of possession.
And they took the lead on the half hour mark with a now customary strike by Nugent, who slotted home at the near post after Wes Morgan was allowed to control a long throw.
Stung, Burnley looked to hit back and they carved out their best opening of the half seven minutes before the break.
Chris McCann began the move with a driving run from midfield and Ings then found Paterson in the left channel.
With bodies flooding into the box the cross found Dean Marney at the far post, but from his cushioned header Ings skied his half-volley from 12 yards.
Burnley began the second half with another flurry that saw Paterson just fail to get a flick onto Treacy’s left wing cross - and half-hearted appeals for a penalty after Marney collided with Marshall after intercepting a loose ball.
And as the hour mark approached, Dyche rolled the dice by replacing Wallace with Sam Vokes.
That gave the crowd a lift and within minutes a slide-rule pass from McCann released Paterson, whose low, angled drive was kept out by Schmeichel’s legs.
And Vokes almost had an immediate impact, heading Treacy’s corner just wide of the far angle.
City had been on the back foot protecting the lead, but forced a flurry of corners midway through the half that saw Grant pat a Ritchie De Laet header wide as he guarded his near post.
Grant was again in the right place 10 minutes from time to superbly turn away Lloyd Dyer’s fierce drive as City looked to seal the game on the break.
Burnley grew increasingly desperate as they tried to force an equaliser, with Schmeichel parrying Paterson’s near post effort for a corner.
And after Foxes sub Marco Futacs clipped the bar with a shot on the turn, Paterson had one golden chance to rescue a point in stoppage time.
A throw was flicked-on at the near post and the striker could only hook his shot into the grateful arms of Schmeichel from 12 yards.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Lafferty, Duff, Shackell, Marney, McCann, Ings, Wallace (Vokes 57), Austin (Paterson 7), Treacy (Stock 83). Subs: Edgar, O’Neill, Bartley, Jensen.
Booked: Duff 68, Trippier 90, Vokes 90
Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Koncheseky, Drinkwater, Morgan, Marshall, Dyer (Gallagher 84), James, Moore, Knockaert (Waghorn 62), Nugent. Subs: King, Kean, Schlupp, Futacs, Logan.
Booked: Dyer 68
Referee: Michael Naylor