Saturday, May 25, 2019

Champions League hat-trick puts Tottenham´s Lucas in esteemed company

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 9 May 2019

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Lucas Moura’s second-half hat-trick against Ajax sent Tottenham into their first Champions League final.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side looked down and out when Hakim Ziyech put Ajax 2-0 up, and 3-0 ahead on aggregate, midway through the first half at Johan Cruijff ArenA, following Matthijs de Ligt’s early goal.

But Lucas stepped up, scoring twice in the space of four minutes before incredibly slotting home to make it 3-2 the sixth minute of added time to ensure Tottenham would progress on away goals, and they will now meet Liverpool on June 1.

In the process, Lucas joined some elite company by becoming just the fifth player to score a hat-trick in a Champions League semi-final. Here we look at the quartet who preceded him in achieving that feat.

Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus 4-1 Monaco, April 1, 1998.

Arguably Juve’s greatest player, Del Piero took centre stage in Turin when his hat-trick put the Serie A giants on the verge of their their third successive Champions League final. The Italy great got things started with an exquisite free-kick to give the hosts the lead, before hammering home two venomous penalties beyond Fabien Barthez, with Zinedine Zidane rounding off the rout. Juve lost 3-2 in the second leg, but still claimed their place in the final, where they were beaten 1-0 by Real Madrid in Amsterdam.

Ivica Olic, Lyon 0-3 Bayern Munich, April 27, 2010

Olic has labelled this performance as the best of his career, and it is hard to argue with the Croatian. With Bayern leading 1-0 from the first leg courtesy of Arjen Robben’s goal, Olic was at his clinical best at Stade de Gerland. Having opened the scoring with his right foot before slotting in a second with his left, the forward completed a perfect hat-trick with a late header. Bayern lost in the final to Inter, with Olic finishing joint second in the scoring charts, level with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid, April 24, 2013

The Bundesliga and LaLiga went head-to-head in both semi-finals in 2012-13, with the German sides – Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich – coming out on top against Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Key to Dortmund’s triumph was Lewndowski’s four-goal haul in the first leg against Los Blancos. The Poland striker put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead eight minutes in, tucking in his second from close range before completing his hat-trick with a sublime strike high into the roof of Iker Casillas’ net. He then slammed in a fourth from the penalty spot.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid, May 2, 2017

It took Ronaldo just 10 minutes to open the scoring against Real Madrid’s city rivals, heading in from Casemiro’s cross. Zinedine Zidane’s side – on their way to a second of three consecutive Champions League titles – squandered plenty of chances, but Atleti’s hopes were finally dealt a decisive blow when Ronaldo doubled his tally with a rasping half-volley. The Portugal star capped off the win in style when he coolly converted from Lucas Vazquez’s cutback late on. The hat-trick also brought up his 400th goal for Madrid.

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