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Rangers 1 Burnley 3

30 July 2016

Andre Gray was at his deadly best with a hat-trick as Burnley slipped into top gear at Rangers.

Last season’s 25-goal hitman had hit the ground running in pre-season, finding the target in all four previous games.

And Gray maintained his 100% record and took his tally to a remarkable eight in five warm-up games with an early penalty and two brilliantly taken opportunist efforts.

Striker Sam Vokes also returned to the starting line-up for the first time since his goalscoring heroics in the European Championships, reuniting last season’s 39-goal partnership.

And within five minutes Gray had extended his sensational scoring streak.

The striker ran off the shoulder of Clint Hill to meet Dean Marney’s slide-rule pass, and had his heels clipped by the former Queens Park Rangers defender.

And Gray duly made no mistake from the spot, sending Wes Foderingham the wrong way from the spot.

Another former Loftus Road favourite, Nico Kranjcar, came close to a leveller in the 13th minute, firing a low drive from distance just wide of Tom Heaton’s right hand post.

But 18 minutes in, the Clarets doubled their lead in clinical fashion.

This time the ammunition was provided by last year’s matchwinner, Scott Arfield, with a delicious ball in behind the two centre backs. And when Gray instantly pulled the trigger from the edge of the box, Foderingham had no chance.

Former Clarets midfielder Joey Barton was a familiar face in the ‘Gers line-up, with former dressing room team mate Matt Gilks on the bench.

And Barton stung the gloves of Heaton midway through an entertaining half with a shot from distance.

But Burnley were carving through the Blues back-line at will and could have been even further ahead by the break.

Another neat passing move saw Gray release Vokes, who drilled a low effort off the inside of the post and back into the keeper’s grateful arms.

The second half brought a debut for Johann Berg Gudmundsson and the return of Lukas Jutkiewicz, who was fit again after a hamstring tweak.

Gilks also emerged to face his former club, but was picking the ball out of the net within eight minutes as Gray sealed his second Burnley treble.

Ben Mee’s clearance was brilliantly flicked-on by Jutkiewicz and Gray pounced to hold off his marker and find the bottom corner.

George Boyd fired over the angle and Dean Marney landed an audacious 80-yard effort onto the roof of a backtracking Gilks’ goal as the Clarets continued their impressive all-round display.

Mee could do little to avert diverting sub Michael O’Halloran’s low cross from the right past Heaton at the near post as Rangers grabbed a consolation 15 minutes from time.

But there was never a danger of the hosts staging a late fightback as the Clarets took a notable scalp in their impressive preparations for their Premier League return.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Darikwa, Keane, Mee, Lafferty, Arfield (Gudmundsson 46), Marney (Kightly 84), Jones (O'Neill 84), Boyd (Ulvestad 84), Gray (C.Long 84), Vokes (Jutkiewicz 46).
Subs: Robinson, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mitchell.

RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Hill, Kiernan, Wallace, Miller, Barton, McKay, Halliday, Kranjcar, Waghorn.
Subs: Gilks, Wilson, Dodoo, Forrester, Hodson, Rossiter, O’Halloran, Thompson.

Ref: N Walsh

Att: 21,818

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