QPR 0 Burnley 0Burnley extended their recent run to just one defeat in 12 against QPR in a hard-fought stalemate at Loftus Road.
The Clarets dug out a precious sixth clean sheet of the campaign, with Tom Heaton well protected by a rock solid defensive display.
And although they found clear-cut chances hard to come by, it’s now one defeat in 18 months on the road at Championship level for Sean Dyche’s men.
The Burnley boss named an unchanged side from the one that surrendered a nine-game unbeaten record last time out.
And there was almost a stunning Loftus Road return for Joey Barton, who saw his second minute free kick bounce up in front of former team mate Rob Green, who grabbed at the second attempt.
Rangers’ response was immediate and after Matty Phillips and Leroy Fer both blazed over from distance, the Clarets had a big escape.
James Henry crossed and when the ball dropped kindly to James Perch 12 yards from goal, a timely block saved the day.
Burnley gradually settled, marshalled well by Barton’s calming influence in midfield. But they were grateful to Tom Heaton on the half hour mark as Rangers broke and Phillips saw his low drive well blocked by the legs of the Burnley keeper.
The visitors were reduced to sporadic breaks as half time approached, but Andre Gray was a whisker away from beating Green to the ball from a headed back pass that made it a straight race.
Burnley were much brighter at the start of the second half and when Ben Mee delivered a dangerous low cross into the heart of the box, Vokes’ flick almost fell for Gray, but Green pounced at his feet to gather.
Rangers’ threw Charlie Austin into the fray on the hour mark to give Dyche’s men a new problem.
And the former Claret helped Rangers create the opening of the half at the three-quarter mark.
Phillips instigated the move with a brilliant run down the left, and when Austin moved the ball on to Karl Henry, the wide man got stuck in two minds and saw his weak effort well deflected into Heaton’s arms.
But Burnley were also a threat and Jones’ whipped free kick caused flutters in the home ranks.
And when Barton found Vokes with a lovely, flighted cross 13 minutes from time, the Welshman couldn’t keep his header back across Green under the bar.
And when Scott Arfield headed a last-gasp corner off the line, the deserved shut-out was assured. #
BURNLEY: Heaton, Mee, Duff, Keane, Darikwa, Boyd, Jones, Barton, Arfield, Gray, Vokes.
Subs: Gilks, Lowton, Marney, Kightly, Taylor, Hennings, Ward.
QPR: Green, Hall, Onuoha, Phillips, Fer, Konchesky, Faurlin, Henry (Emmanuel-Thomas 74), Hoilett (Austin 60), Perch, Sandro
Subs: Chery, Luongo, Smithies, Angella, Tozser
Ref: S Atwell
Att: 16,576 (1,590)