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Burnley 4-1 Sunderland: Pathetic Showing Keeps Mackems In Bottom Three

Three goals from Burnley’s Andre Gray and one from Ashley Barnes saw Sunderland lose their last game of 2016 in a spectacular fashion.

Burnley v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Andre Gray scored a simple hattrick as Burnley eased past Sunderland this afternoon at Turf Moor.

The Wearsiders helped the Burnley marksman to his first Premier League hat-trick with a mixture of poor intensity and suicidal individual defending.

His hat-trick was completed within an hour as Burnley raced to a 4-0 lead in what must have been their easiest game of the season.

Papy Djilobodji, John O'Shea and Vito Mannone were the main culprits in what must represent a low point of Moyes's time in charge of Sunderland.

First the 25 year old capitalised on bad decision making from Sunderland's three amigos. Firing past Mannone at the Italian near post. He ran off Djilobodji again before rounding Sunderland's hapless second choice goalkeeper.

He completed a memorable triple when he half volleyed home after a delicate Ashley Barnes through ball, killing off the game in less than an hour.

Barnes bagged from the penalty spot after poor play from Sebastian Larsson. Jermain Defoe ironically scored another consolation goal of genuine quality, but make no mistake about it, this was awful from Sunderland.

A dreadful non showing from Sunderland in a crucial six pointer leaves the Black Cats third bottom, as relegation favourites Burnley, now sit nine points ahead of them.

Sunderland committed the ultimate cardinal sin against Burnley in the first half, giving the home side a soft avoidable advantage.

Turf Moor was bolstered and buoyant after Andre Gray drove past Vito Mannone and Sunderland looked helpless following the deadlock breaker.

A momentary collapse meant the Wearsiders gave a gigantic edge to their relegation rivals on 31 minutes.

The goal was a result of suicidal defending and weak goalkeeping. Gray latched onto a skimmed John O'Shea header beating Mannone at his near post, with the Italian guilty of being soft in his attempts to palm the ball away.

Gray was left all alone after Djilobodji naively went to challenge for a ball his new defensive partner was clearly trying to win. The decision was emblematic of early performances from the Senegal international in a Red and White shirt. Gray was onside due to the ball last coming off O'Shea and he left David Moyes's men with a mountain to climb.

Stephen Ward nearly doubled Burnley's lead not getting enough contact on a dangerous Matt Lowton cross at the back post soon after.

Shell shocked in one of the more intimidating Premier League venues, Sunderland were nearly two down just before half time when Scott Arfield shot wide unopposed at the edge of the Sunderland area. Arfield barely missed the far post, dragging his effort narrowly wide.

Lacking invention and confidence Sunderland's best moments in the half, were two small early opportunities. A hopelessly high and wide effort from Januzaj at the edge of the box. When the Belgian had time and space, and driving low Victor Anichebe ball that was nearly inadvertently turned in by Michael Keane.

An awful end to the first half was compounded by even worse second half play.

Five minutes into the second period, Gray doubled Burnley's advantage running off the dreadful Djilobodji, rounding Mannone, before passing into an open net.

Just two minutes later the game was won. Substitute Steven Pienaar slipped and Burnley broke clinically, Barnes delicately putting Gray through whose first time finish was excellent.

Clearly ruffled and nervous more Black Cats mistakes followed, a needless Larsson foul on Scott Arfield gifted the North West side another chance. Barnes passed into the corner from 13 yards, Mannone just stood and watched, wrong footed.

A slaloming run from Januzaj lead to another high quality consolation goal for this wretched Sunderland side. Januzaj was fouled and saw at least three claret and Blue shirts dive at his ankles, evading Burnley lunges he hung up and inch perfect ball for Defoe, who was typically clinical. One touch, and then he stabbed past Tom Heaton, across the Englishman's goal.

With Liverpool to come on Monday, Sunderland need to raise their intensity and focus to keep the fans on side after such an abject showing. They looked low on quality and fight in a game that was always likely to pivotal to their season.