Dec 31 (Reuters) - Andre Gray celebrated his maiden Premier League hat-trick as Burnley headed into the New Year sitting comfortably in mid-table after a 4-1 demolition of struggling Sunderland at Turf Moor on Saturday.
The 25-year old striker opened the scoring in the 31st minute, powering the ball past goalkeeper Vito Mannone after two Sunderland defenders collided.
He added a brace in the space of two minutes early in the second half before Ashley Barnes completed the rout with a 67th-minute penalty.
Jermain Defoe pulled one back for Sunderland after a fine solo run by Adnan Januzaj, but it was scant consolation for the Black Cats, who remain in the relegation zone in 18th place with 14 points from 19 games.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Hugh Lawson