Burnley 1, Middlesbrough 0

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It's a question that keeps being brought up. Can Burnley's home form alone keep them in the Premier League.

Well, judging by the table just shy of the halfway stage, it seems that results at Turf Moor could single-handedly keep the Clarets in the top flight.

Andre Gray celebrates his equaliser with Sam Vokes and Johan Berg Gudmundsson

Andre Gray celebrates his equaliser with Sam Vokes and Johan Berg Gudmundsson

With 18 games gone, Sean Dyche's side are six points clear of the drop zone despite only picking up a solitary point on the road.

The latest maximum came against Boro as Andre Gray's second goal of the season decided the fixture in the 81st minute.

As it happened: Burnley 1, Middlesbrough 0
Burnley fans react to Boro win
It wasn't the prettiest of spectacles on Boxing Day by any stretch of the imagination but on difficult afternoon's like today, where a gritty display was required in tough conditions, points take precedence over performance.

Dyche made one change from the side that lost out to Spurs at White Hart Lane with Jon Flanagan replacing the suspended Matt Lowton while the same system meant that there wasn't a recall for midfielder Steven Defour.

When the two sides last met at Turf Moor in the Championship the focus was on promotion to the Premier League, now it's all about staying there.

And with neither side willing to give their opponents an inch, chances proved few and far between.

The best of the first half fell to Boro's Cristhian Stuani who, having slipped goal side of Stephen Ward from Antonio Barragan's pass, fired narrowly wide of the far post with only Tom Heaton to beat.

Jeff Hendrick, who scored a goal of the season contender against AFC Bournemouth, tried his luck again from distance but the record signing didn't go close to emulating his previous strike when slicing wide of the target.

Burnley's best chance of the half arrived midway through the half when Victor Valdes fell to the foot of his upright to palm Ashley Barnes's low drive out for a corner.

The hosts then had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Craig Pawson when Dean Marney's shot seemingly struck the hand of Calum Chambers before Valdes was called in to action again, beating away George Boyd's drive that moved awkwardly en route.

The second half was similarly quiet but, once again, the Clarets found a way to win. It's now six victories in 10 outings on home soil, the fourth best record in the Premier League.

Heaton plucked Stuani's header from Ramirez's corner out of the air in Boro's only genuine chance of the period and Hendrick failed to hit the target with another speculative drive.

However, Gray netted his first goal since the game against Liverpool in August as last season's prolific pairing combined.

Sam Vokes, who had replaced Barnes in the 66th minute, won the flick on from Heaton's clearance and his strike partner's first time effort was too hot for Valdes to handle.

The Clarets climbed to 14th with this win. Next up, Sunderland on New Year's Eve.

As it happened: Burnley 1, Middlesbrough 0
Burnley fans react to Boro win