Wolves 0 Burnley 4 (Wood 15, 21, 44, Westwood 85)
Wolves were unable to make it three consecutive Premier League wins as Chris Wood’s hat-trick secured a comfortable victory for Burnley.
Wood scored three within the first 45 minutes at Molineux, as the Clarets capitalised on a slack defensive performance from Wolves throughout the match. His first came from a neat finish from a tight angle, before adding a second from close range. He completed his trio of goals just before half-time with a close-range header.
Substitute Ashley Westwood then put the result beyond doubt late on as he smashed a stunning shot into the top corner of the net as Burnley completed a rout.
Having recovered from a positive Covid-19 test, Ruben Neves was back in the Wolves line-up in place of the injured Joao Moutinho, and the Portuguese midfielder was straight into the action, setting up Adama Traore on the edge of the area who brought a good defending tackle from Charlie Taylor.
Rayan Ait-Nouri, continuing at left wing-back with the absences of Jonny and Marcal, set Wolves away for another good opportunity to open the scoring as he used his pace to burst through the heart of the Burnley midfield before the ball found its way to Daniel Podence on the right, who let fly from 18 yards out, but his effort was comfortably gathered by Nick Pope in the visitor’s goal.
Moments after a slip-up at the back by Willy Boly, who was able to make a stunning tackle to recover the ball, Burnley took the lead. Boly misjudged a long ball into the Wolves penalty area, and after Wood turned Conor Coady one way and then the other, the Clarets forward fired a low drive past Rui Patricio and inside the far post.
Another mistake in the Wolves defence allowed Wood to score his second of the afternoon. Traore’s pass back towards Nelson Semedo in the penalty area was cut out by Dwight McNeil who laid a cross on a plate for the former West Bromwich Albion striker to tap home from a matter of yards.
Wolves were fortunate not to find themselves three goals behind just before the half-hour mark, as Taylor’s cross into the penalty area found the boot of an unmarked Matej Vydra six yards out from goal, but the Burnley forward – stretching to reach the ball – was unable to keep his effort from flying over Patricio’s crossbar.
Tempers were beginning to flare towards the end of the half, after Podence appealed for a foul in the Burnley box, which led to bookings for Traore and James Tarkowski for petulance after several players came together and arms were raised.
Moments before the half-time whistle was blown, Burnley extended their advantage to three with wood completing his hat-trick. A corner into the penalty area by McNeil found the Burnley striker, who was unchallenged by those in gold and black shirts, and simply headed the ball in from close-range.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Burnley 3
Early in the second-half, Wolves were saved by VAR from going further behind. Vydra was found over the top of the gold and black defence, and after rounding Patricio, he slotted the ball into the back of the net. But fortunately for the hosts, VAR judged Vydra started his run a fraction early and strayed offside.
As the half progressed, Burnley were continuing to put Wolves’ defence under pressure, without brining a save out of Patricio, while Neves sliced a shot into the South Bank from inside the Burnley box in a rare attack from the home side.
Wolves keeper Patricio made his first telling save of the afternoon when Matthew Lowton took aim from 20 yards out, and his low drive seemed to be finding its way into the bottom corner, but Portugal’s number one got down well to smoother the effort. Coady was forced into a last-ditch block to deny Wood potentially getting his fourth as he was lurking just behind the Wolves captain.
Another lapse pass from a gold and black shirt allowed Wood to have an attempt for his fourth, after twisting and turning Coady on the edge of the box, he shifted the ball onto his right foot, but his low curling effort was comfortably kept out by Patricio.
A fourth goal had been coming, and Patricio was eventually beaten with five minutes of the 90 remaining. More slack defending allowed substitute Jay Rodriguez to get behind the backline before cutting back to Wood, who laid the ball into the path of Westwood, who unleashed a perfect bullet of a shot into the top corner.
Wolves tried in vain to earn one slice of positivity from the match, but it was the Clarets who took the spoils in a day to forget for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
Full-time: Wolves 0 Burnley 4
Wolves: Patricio, Semedo (Silva 58), Saiss, Coady, Boly, Ait-Nouri, Neves (Vitinha 69), Dendoncker, Traore, Podence (Gibbs-White 69), Jose.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Kilman, Richards, Otasowie, Corbeanu.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Brownhill, Vydra (Rodriguez 73), Wood.
Unused subs: Peacock-Farrell, Norris, Dunne, Bardsley, Gudmundsson, Stephens, Pieters, Barnes.
Referee: Darren England