Monday, September 23, 2019

Super Sterling joins ranks of opening-weekend Premier League hat-trick heroes

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Aug 2019

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Raheem Sterling became just the eighth player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a season in the Premier League era.

The Manchester City forward achieved the rare feat in a thumping 5-0 away win against West Ham.

Here, we take a look at the other players who have registered trebles on the first weekend of a Premier League season.

MICK QUINN: Arsenal 0-3 Coventry City, August 14 1993

Bobby Gould’s Sky Blues stunned Arsenal at a revamped, newly all-seater Highbury, on the back of a remarkable treble from former Newcastle striker Quinn. The highlight goal was Quinn’s second strike, a delicious effort into the top-left corner after smart work from Roy Wegerle.

MATT LE TISSIER: Southampton 3-4 Nottingham Forest, August 19 1995

At The Dell, another stadium from Premier League history, Le Tissier scored two penalties and a late free-kick but still finished on the losing side. A Forest team inspired by two-goal Bryan Roy took the points on the south coast.

FABRIZIO RAVANELLI: Middlesbrough 3-3 Liverpool, August 17 1996

Ravanelli was a £7million statement signing by ambitious Middlesbrough, joining within weeks of scoring for Juventus in the Champions League final. His Premier League debut for Bryan Robson’s team was almost perfect, with the ‘White Feather’ cracking in a penalty, a poacher’s finish and a low, skidding strike to secure a draw.

KEVIN CAMPBELL: Coventry City 0-3 Nottingham Forest, August 17 1996

Campbell’s treble at Highfield Road was overshadowed by Ravanelli’s feat at the Riverside on the same day but two slick finishes and a delightful third goal all of his own making meant it was a day to remember for Forest’s former Arsenal striker.

DION DUBLIN: Coventry City 3-2 Chelsea, August 9 1997

After Quinn four years earlier, Dublin was another Coventry opening-day hero. A pair of headers rocked Ruud Gullit’s Chelsea before Dublin took advantage of a loose header from defender Franck Leboeuf to drill in a late winner for Gordon Strachan’s men.

GABRIEL AGBONLAHOR: Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City, August 17 2008

Hardly the most prolific of Villa strikers, Agbonlahor nevertheless grabbed the first opening-day Premier League hat-trick for 11 years. He scored with his right foot, left foot and head as the 21-year-old tore apart City at Villa Park.

DIDIER DROGBA: Chelsea 6-0 West Brom, August 14 2010

Chelsea began the defence of their title in six-hitting style at Stamford Bridge, with a free-kick, a close-range finish and a deflected strike seeing Drogba earn the match ball. Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues also won 6-0 on the following weekend, beating Wigan.

RAHEEM STERLING: West Ham 0-5 Manchester City, August 10 2019

England forward Sterling showed shimmering opening-weekend form as he and City carved open West Ham repeatedly at London Stadium. He slotted his first from Kevin De Bruyne’s pass, lobbed a second and slid home a third in stoppage time as the champions cruised to their handsome win.

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