Rotherham 2-2 Burnley: Champagne on ice for Clarets as draw delays title hopes
Burnley’s champagne remains on ice as they were made to wait for the Sky Bet Championship title after being held to a 2-2 draw at Rotherham.
Quality goals from Scott Twine and Manuel Benson either side of Vitinho’s own goal looked to be tightening their grip on the trophy, but Georgie Kelly equalised to earn the Millers a deserved point.
And with Sheffield United winning at home to Bristol City, it meant the celebrations will have to wait until Saturday, where a win against QPR will secure top spot for Vincent Kompany’s side.
This could be a vital draw for the Millers in their bid to stay in the division and they moved four points clear of the bottom four with four games remaining.
With Burnley knowing they needed to better the Blades’ result to get over the line, they set about their task early and got on the front foot.
They fired an early warning shot in the fifth minute when Connor Roberts found space at the far post but his shot was straight at Millers goalkeeper Josh Vickers.
Vitinho put a free header wide as the chances kept coming and the breakthrough came in the 26th minute with a moment of real quality.
Roberts was given space on the right to send in a cross that was met with a brilliant first-time controlled volley by Twine, who picked out the corner in style.
Burnley were in total control, with the majority of the action played in the their final third as they pushed for a second which would have surely killed the game.
But they were hit with a sucker-punch in first-half stoppage time as they failed to defend a set-piece, allowing the Millers to steal an equaliser.
Shane Ferguson’s deep corner caused chaos and Vitinho got his clearance all wrong, skewing the ball onto Ameen Al-Dakhil and over the line, with referee Bobby Madley awarding the goal with the use of goal-line technology.
Vitinho was officially awarded the own goal, despite Al-Dakhil getting the last touch.
Rotherham’s chances appeared to suffer a blow at half-time when Vickers was forced off with an injury, meaning 21-year-old rookie Robbie Hemfrey was introduced for his first ever senior appearance.
It was quite the baptism of fire and his nerves were tested in less than two minutes as he had to get down low to save Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s shot.
Things were not going to quieten down for him as Gudmundsson again tested his handling with a shot from distance before having to palm away another Roberts effort.
Rotherham were able to stem the tide, but there was an inevitability about the stunning goal that put Burnley back in front in the 81st minute.
Josh Cullen robbed the ball and fed Benson and he advanced towards goal before unleashing a brilliant curling effort that would have been too good for goalkeepers far more experienced that Hemfrey.
But Rotherham were not done and hit back four minutes later.
A free-kick made its way to Chiedozie Ogbene at the far post and he picked out Kelly who swept home from eight yards to secure an unlikely point.