Championship: Tella treble helps Burnley batter Hull; Sheff Utd sink Sunderland

Getty Images

Nathan Tella scored a hat-trick for Vincent Kompany's visitors. He put the Clarets in front just before the break and the in-form youngster added a second just before the hour following good work from Ian Maatsen. The on-loan Southampton signing then put the seal on a fabulous individual performance when he pounced upon wretched defending with his 17th league goal of the season. Hull were spirited opponents, most notably in the first half. But Kompany's men broke the hosts' collective spirit by keeping the football and giving nothing away at the back until Ozan Tufan scored an injury-time consolation. Leaders Burnley now have 83 points, with just nine Championship games remaining. Sheffield United returned to winning ways by claiming a much-needed 2-1 comeback victory at Sunderland in the race for promotion. The Blades - in second - are now six points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough ahead of this Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final with Blackburn. Sunderland, who had hoped to close the gap on the play-off places, had taken the lead when French midfielder Edouard Michut scored his first goal in English football after half-an-hour. But after James McAtee had levelled near the end of the first half, Sheffield United hit a winner when Tommy Doyle's free-kick from the left bounced straight in just after the hour. West Brom's bid to boost their play-off hopes was dented in a 1-1 draw at lowly Cardiff. Daryl Dike celebrated his return to the United States squad with a composed 17th-minute finish that gave Albion optimism they could end a run of five straight away defeats with a win. But Cardiff underlined their improvement under Sabri Lamouchi, their third manager of the season, when substitute Sory Kaba headed an equaliser 25 minutes from time. The result left West Brom in eighth and five points adrift of Millwall in the final play-off spot, with 21st-placed Cardiff four points above the relegation zone. Norwich captain Grant Hanley's own goal helped Huddersfield earn a 1-1 draw and move off the bottom of the Championship table. The Terriers went into the contest having gone four games without a league goal - equalling their longest run since 2000 - and away goalkeeper Angus Gunn was not called into making a save on Wednesday evening. But the unfortunate Hanley saw the ball ricochet off him into his own net from a yard after Martyn Waghorn's second-half lob had hit an upright. And a frustrating night for the visitors was compounded when Marquinhos was sent off for an alleged elbow on Josh Ruffels in the second minute of stoppage time. A late winner from Ryan Hedges gave Blackburn a vital 2-1 over Reading. It looked set to be a routine win once Ben Brereton Diaz's 13th goal of the campaign gave Rovers a second-minute lead and they created countless chances but found goalkeeper Joe Lumley in inspired form. They paid for that profligacy when Cesare Casadei struck his first senior goal in the 68th minute but the Royals could not cope with the Blackburn pressure and Hedges' smart finish eight minutes from time secured a fourth successive home win and crucial points in the race for the top six. Reading's fourth successive defeat was compounded when Mamadou Loum was sent off for headbutting Sam Gallagher. Luton continued their promotion push with a 1-0 win over Bristol City at Kenilworth Road. Carlton Morris' 16th goal of the season secured the Hatters a third consecutive victory and left them fourth, seven points off second-placed Sheffield United. Morris struck after just five minutes when Cody Drameh's brilliantly drilled cross from the right was perfect for the striker to head home. Morris' strike partner Elijah Adebayo was denied a second for his side in the 11th minute when being found by Gabe Osho's terrific ball over the top, taking a touch and beating Max O'Leary, but denied by a goal-line clearance from Mark Sykes. Morris put another header over from Drameh's dangerous right-wing delivery as the hosts sensed more goals, but could not find one despite their almost complete dominance.

The article Championship: Tella treble helps Burnley batter Hull; Sheff Utd sink Sunderland appeared first on