Burnley 4-1 Sunderland: Andre Gray makes history in another home win
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 01/01/17 10:27am
Andre Gray became the first Burnley player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League as the Clarets thrashed Sunderland 4-1 at Turf Moor.
Gray capitalised on some woeful Sunderland defending to break the deadlock after 31 minutes, before adding a well-taken second six minutes after the interval.
Gray's and Burnley's first Premier League treble was complete two minutes later, as he had the simple task of side-footing home after great work from Ashley Barnes, before the latter made sure of the three points with a fourth in the 67th minute from the penalty spot.
Jermain Defoe, who was starved of service all afternoon, did manage to make the scoreline more respectable with a late consolation.
The Clarets were excellent value for their win - their seventh home success of the campaign with half of the season to go. They climb to 11th, while Sunderland remain deep in the relegation mire in 18th.
Sunderland were forced into a goalkeeper change ahead of the match, with Jordan Pickford ruled out for up to two months this week, but Vito Mannone, who came in for Pickford, went largely untroubled early on, as the visitors started brightly.
Adnan Januzaj fired over from a good position early on as the Black Cats pressed, but the defensive errors started to creep in and Burnley slowly grew into the match.
Lamine Kone's withdrawal through injury did not help the cohesion the back, and Gray took full advantage just after the half-hour mark to open the scoring.
John O'Shea and Papy Djilobodji both went up to meet a long ball over the top, neither made contact, allowing Gray a free run at goal to make it 1-0 with ease.
The task became even more difficult for Burnley at half-time, as Victor Anichebe failed to emerge after injuring his hamstring, and before long Gray had compounded David Moyes' misery further by adding a second.
Djilobodji this time was the guilty party, as he allowed Gray to skip past him far too easily, Mannone came rushing out of his goal, Gray beat him to it, took it round the stranded stopper, before slotting into the empty net.
Two minutes later, Gray completed his 22-minute hat-trick. This was more about Burnley's slick play than Sunderland's lacklustre defending, as Barnes delightfully found Gray who made no mistake.
Minutes later, Scott Arfield should have made it four after more tireless work from George Boyd, but it wasn't long before the Clarets were out of sight.
Arfield was again involved, as he was bundled to the floor by Sebastian Larsson in the box, allowing Barnes the opportunity to net a fourth from the spot, which he converted with aplomb.
Sunderland did manage a late rally, but Defoe's well-taken goal, after superb work from Januzaj to set him up, was too little, too late for the Black Cats, who once again may have to conjure up another great escape to ensure Premier League survival.
Burnley: Mannone (4), O'Shea (3), Kone (3), Djilobodji (4), Jones (4), Januzaj (5), Larsson (5), Van Aanholt (5), Borini (5), Defoe (6), Anichebe (4).
Subs: Ndong (5), Pienaar (5), Love (5).
Sunderland: Heaton (6), Lowton (6), Keane (7), Mee (6), Ward (6), Arfield (7), Marney (7), Defour (6), Boyd (8), Barnes (8), Gray (9).
Subs: Gudmundsson (6), Tarkowski (N/A), Vokes (6).
Man of the match: Andre Gray