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Wood hits hat-trick as Burnley take giant step towards Premier League safety

Wolverhampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Chris Wood scored a first-half hat-trick as Burnley pummelled sorry Wolves 4-0 on Sunday to lift themselves nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Burnley were sharper and more committed but mid-table Wolves contributed to their downfall with some sloppy defensive work at an empty Molineux. 

The away side took the lead in the 15th minute after Wolves defender Willy Boly misjudged a header and the ball fell to Wood.

The New Zealand forward turned Conor Coady one way then the other down the right before firing the ball into the far corner of the net from an acute angle.

Burnley doubled their lead just six minutes later. Dwight McNeil seized on a sloppy pass from Adama Traore, crossing for Wood to tap home from close range.

McNeil was again the provider as Wood completed his hat-trick shortly before half-time, heading home a corner.

Wood, who is now Burnley’s outright top scorer in the Premier League, is the first player from New Zealand to score a Premier League hat-trick.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves started the second half more brightly but Burnley’s Matej Vydra had the ball in the net in the opening minutes, only to have it ruled out for offside.

Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio got down low to keep out a Matthew Lowton drive with 25 minutes to go as Burnley continued to pose Wolves problems.

Wood went close to a fourth in the closing stages before turning provider for Ashley Westwood to thump home from the edge of the box.

The win lifts Sean Dyche’s men to 14th in the table, nine points clear of 18th-placed Fulham with just five games remaining, meaning they are almost certain to secure a sixth successive season of top-flight football.

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