With Samuel Eto’o netting a hat-trick against the Red Devils on Sunday, Goal Singapore takes a look at other players who have hit a treble against the reigning championsSamuel Eto’o grabbed the headlines on Sunday after he struck thrice to condemn Manchester United to their seventh defeat of the season and leave the Red Devils’ hopes of a top four finish in tatters.
The Cameroonian, who signed for the Blues for an undisclosed fee over the summer, doubled his goal tally for the season in the Premier League to six goals, netting twice in the first half and once more just after the break, condemning United to a 3-1 defeat.
In this week’s Top 5, Goal Singapore takes a look at the other players who have scored a treble against the reigning Premier League champions.
|5. Dennis Bailey - Man Utd 1–4 QPR, January 1, 1992
|Way back in 1992, just before the Premier League was formed, Queens Park Rangers visited Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side gunning for the First Division title.
The visitors, however, wrote their own script as they inflicted a first home defeat for United thanks to a hat-trick by the legendary Dennis Bailey.
The striker destroyed United as his goals in the fifth, 58th and 85th minutes helped his side to a 4-1 victory.
The result was especially significant as it was the catalyst for the Red Devils to suffer a collapse and eventually be pipped to the title by Leeds.
Till today, Bailey is still the only player to have scored a hat-trick at United’s own turf in the league.
|4. David Bentley - Blackburn 4–3 Man Utd, February 1, 2006
|David Bentley might never have fulfilled the potential he was touted to have reached, but he did put himself in the history books after his treble against Manchester United in 2006.
In his first game for Blackburn Rovers since joining permanently from Arsenal, the Englishman struck his first of three goals after Edwin van der Sar failed to keep out Morten Gamst Pedersen’s free-kick. He got his second of the night after taking advantage of a mix-up between Van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand, and he saved the best for last as he struck as sweet half-volley to give Blackburn a 4-1 lead.
Ruud van Nistelrooy scored a brace to reduce the arrears, but Blackburn managed to hold on for the win and Bentley famously went back home with the match ball.
|3. Romelu Lukaku - West Brom 5–5 Man Utd, May 19, 2013
|Romelu Lukaku was the reason why Sir Alex Ferguson did not enjoy the perfect farewell match. His second half hat-trick ensured West Brom rescued a point in a 5-5 draw against champions Manchester United, a score that had never before been produced in the Premier League.
In Sir Alex’s 1500th and final match of his 26-and-a-half-year reign, it seemed as if the Scot was going to get a victorious send-off after his team was leading 5-2 with 10 minutes left to go.
However, three goals in the last 10 minutes - two of which were scored by the Belgian beast - ensured honours remained even. Lukaku, who started the game on the bench, scored his first goal of the evening after being on the pitch for only five minutes.
The Chelsea loanee’s late double then ensured the home side left with a point in one of the most amazing games in Premier League history.
|2. Dirk Kuyt - Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd, March 6, 2011
|Dirk Kuyt put himself firmly in Liverpool folklore after bagging a hat-trick in front of the Kop against their most hated rivals.
Manchester United went into the game fresh from a recent defeat against Chelsea, but Liverpool showed no mercy as Kuyt scored two poacher’s goals in the first half to put them in a commanding lead.
The Dutchman completed his hat trick in the second half after following up on Luis Suarez’s free kick. Javier Hernandez headed in a consolation but it barely dampened the mood at the stadium.
Having already been a fan favourite at Anfield since his arrival in 2006 with his hardworking ethic and battling qualities, his treble against United ensured his name is still talked about for years to come.
|1. Ronaldo - Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid, April 24, 2003
|Not many players score trebles against United on their own turf, but to do so in the manner that Ronaldo did? It is no wonder many players still say he is the toughest opposition they have ever faced.
In a game where United were trailing 3-1 from the first leg in the Champions League quarter-finals, a David Beckham double, a Ruud van Nistelrooy strike and an own-goal might have given United the victory on the night.
But it was Ronaldo who left the field with a standing ovation after scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford. The Brazilian scored in the 12th, 50th and 59th minutes to ensure the Spanish side reached the semi-finals, winning 6-5 on aggregate.
It was heartbreak for United, but even the most ardent United fan that night would admit Ronaldo was more than deserving of his applause as he left the field midway through the second half.