Burnley comfortably cruised past Wolves on an afternoon to forget for the men from Molineux, with Chris Wood becoming the first away Premier League player to score a first half hat trick since 1998 in the process.
Right from the outset, Burnley were direct and put the hosts under pressure, showing great signs of intent within the first few minutes. The first warning signs for Nuno’s men were there as Boly was forced into a great recovery challenge on Vydra when the forward was ready to shoot on goal.
This piece of defending meant nothing just a few minutes later, as Burnley took the lead on the fifteenth minute. Willy Boly made another mistake as he lets a ball in behind him, it landed at Chris Wood’s feet who slid it past Patricio in the Wolves goal from a tight angle. Wolves looked like a team who had nothing to play for, with no pressure on the Burnley players, the intensity from the hosts was shocking.
Wood had his second just six minutes later, more sloppy defending from Wolves allowing Dwight McNeil to slide in the number nine who secured his brace within the first twenty minutes. Traore attempted to play the ball back to Semedo inside the 18 yard box, it was a sloppy pass and McNeil nipped in as if he wanted the ball more, a sequence of play that epitomised the first half for both teams, brilliant and energised from the visitors and awful from the hosts.
Sean Dyche’s men continued to press on and create chances, with Czech forward Matej Vydra looking very bright, having a number of efforts closely missing the target. The best of which was a close range lunge that just went over the bar after Traore was dispossessed once again on the edge of the box.
Wolves had a slight bright period towards the end of the opening period, but it was Burnley who made it three just before half time, It was a third for Chris Wood, continuing to be the thorn in the Wolves defence. It came from a corner that was beautifully delivered once again by McNeil, his second assist of the afternoon, right onto the Kiwi’s head around five yards out, he wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to make it three, and potentially game over before half time.
Burnley were loving life in the Midlands sunshine.
Half time – Wolves 0-3 Burnley
The visitors were in cruise control as soon as the second half began, setting up brilliantly at the back to absorb any pressure that Wolves may have looked to put on them. Nuno would’ve been expecting a reaction after the abysmal first half performance, unfortunately this never came, Wolves continued to look lazy and slow, with no intent, a team that perhaps are already looking ahead to next season.
Matej Vydra had a great afternoon, causing problems throughout his performance with his tricky footwork and pace. He deserved a goal, and thought he had one very early after the interval as he was set through and took it round Patricio to tap home. The on field decision was onside but it was unfortunately ruled out by VAR for offside, one of the only things that went right for the home side all afternoon.
Nuno threw on three young forwards in Fabio Silva, Morgan Gibbs-White and Vitinha to try and stem the flow and gain a foothold in the affair. Unfortunately, nothing came of their efforts, the Burnley defence never looked in danger in all honesty. Nick Pope in the away goal was also very impressive, commanding his box brilliantly and claiming anything that was swung towards the target.
Wolves continued to probe throughout the half without having any real clear cut chances, winger Traore was visibly very frustrated with his own poor performance, throwing his hands in the air after numerous wayward attempted crosses.
All three substitutes struggled to make an impact in tough circumstances, while Jose was unable to build on his first goal in a Wolves shirt last time out, having very little impact on the game and causing no problems to the Burnley back four.
Romain Saiss was another who had a poor afternoon for the hosts, and the Moroccan was forced into giving the ball away well into his own half in the dying stages due to some good pressing by Burnley sub Jay Rodriguez. He laid off the ball into Wood who unselfishly played in Ashley Westwood, who finished smartly from 18 yards out to cap off a relentless performance.
The final whistle was a blessing for Nuno and his players who couldn’t wait to get off the pitch, no doubt getting a blasting in the dressing room after a shocking display. Meanwhile it was a joyous day for Sean Dyche and his men, who moved nine points clear of Fulham, and can feel fairly comfortable that they will be playing Premier League football next season.
Full time – Wolves 0-4 Burnley