Gray’s tre­ble makes Sun­der­land suf­fer

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - PREMIER LEAGUE - By Steven Sut­cliffe at Turf Moor

This proved the per­fect end­ing to the year for Burn­ley as they de­mol­ished a woe­ful Sun­der­land team to put fur­ther dis­tance be­tween them­selves and those bat­tling at the foot of the divi­sion.

Andre Gray’s hat-trick – the first by a Burn­ley player in the Pre­mier League – in­side 22 min­utes ei­ther side of half­time and a penalty from Ash­ley Barnes en­sured that it was an­other one of those days for Sun­der­land man­ager David Moyes, who watched his team fall to their heav­i­est de­feat of the cam­paign.

It was all the more galling for Moyes, who lamented “de­fen­sive frail­ties”, that this ca­pit­u­la­tion was served up against sup­posed ri­vals in the scrap for sur­vival. Al­ready de­prived of out­stand­ing goal­keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford, in­jured on Mon­day at Old Traf­ford, Sun­der­land’s prospects were hin­dered fur­ther when in­flu­en­tial de­fender Lamine Koné col­lided with the ad­ver­tis­ing hoard­ings in the 18th minute and was re­placed six min­utes later.

Burn­ley went ahead seven min­utes later fol­low­ing calami­tous de­fend­ing, with John O’Shea, Papy Djilo­bodji and Vito Man­none all cul­pa­ble.

“We started rel­a­tively well and there was noth­ing in the game,” Moyes said. “Los­ing Lamine was a big blow and meant us re­or­gan­is­ing, so that just threw it all. We couldn’t re­ally cope with a bit of old-fash­ioned English­style balls for­ward, over the top and down the chan­nel. The first one, two of them go for the same ball and none of them win it and I think we [Man­none] should save it as well.”

The vis­i­tors’ de­te­ri­o­rat­ing prospects were epit­o­mised by Vic­tor Anichebe’s ham­string giv­ing way on the stroke of half-time.

Gray dou­bled Burn­ley’s lead in the 51st minute, with Sun­der­land again ar­chi­tects of their own down­fall. Dean Mar­ney’s through-ball was eas­ily gath­ered by Gray and what fol­lowed rep­re­sented a dere­lic­tion of du­ties by Djilo­bodji, who al­lowed the for­ward to es­cape and gave up as Gray de­scended on Man­none.

Gray com­pleted his hat-trick by strik­ing the ball be­yond Man­none – his con­fi­dence re­stored af­ter his match­win­ning ex­ploits on Box­ing Day.

“It gave him con­fi­dence the other day be­cause he was quiet but he sticks in there, he waits for his chance and he works for his chance and when it comes he has got that lovely knack of scor­ing,” said Burn­ley man­ager Sean Dy­che. “He’s got that fear­less streak in him if he misses. It’s like, ‘so what? Give me an­other chance’.”

Ad­nan Januzaj’s in­ven­tive slalom laid on a goal for Jer­main De­foe, but it was not enough to lift the gloom on a des­per­ate day for Moyes and his team.

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