Tag Archives: Hat-Trick

Memorable Matches: Oldham Athletic 2-3 Norwich City (November 1992)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 14, 27, 90, Graeme Sharp 25, Ian Marshall 43

Teams:

Oldham Athletic: Jon Hallworth, Gunnar Halle, Richard Jobson, Neil Pointon, Steve Redmond, Paul Bernard, Nick Henry, Mike Milligan, Ian Marshall, Ian Olney (Neil Adams 58), Graeme Sharp

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, John Polston, Daryl Sutch, Ian Crook, David Phillips, Ruel Fox, Darren Beckford (Chris Sutton 88), Mark Robins

Referee: Robbie Hart, Attendance: 11,081

Oldham Athletic and Norwich City were two of the more unfashionable clubs in the Premier League’s very first season. However, both teams were a real credit to the league’s early inception, producing outstanding stories throughout the 1992-1993 campaign.

The sides met in early November 1992 and there was plenty of attention on Mike Walker’s Canaries. Results earlier in the weekend had taken Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table but Norwich knew victory at Boundary Park would take them back to the summit. Oldham though must have fancied their chances. Despite the visitors’ excellent attacking record, their defence was brittle and they’d conceded 11 goals on two recent painful away trips to Ewood Park and Anfield. The one certainly was a 0-0 scoreline was a very unlikely result here.

It was Norwich who struck first in an opening 45 minutes that saw the pendulum swing back and forwards. Ian Culverhouse produced a lovely ball after 14 minutes and summer arrival, Mark Robins was left completely unmarked in the penalty area to open the scoring. It was Robins first goal in seven matches and with the Canaries first serious attack, they were infront.

Norwich’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Nick Henry delivered a ball into the box from the left-hand side. It was flicked on and Graeme Sharp reacted instantly, providing a predatory finish beyond Bryan Gunn to bring Oldham level. However, their parity didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Norwich were back infront.

Oldham’s high offside trap was brutally exposed by the pacey winger Ruel Fox. He produced the perfect first-time pass and with goalkeeper Jon Hallworth caught in no-man’s land and the defenders scrambling to get back, Robins had all the time in the world to convert his second goal of the evening. Two minutes before half-time, Oldham levelled the scores again. Auxiliary forward Ian Marshall was first to another flick-on and bravely beat an onrushing Gunn to the loose ball. There was a collision between the pair but Marshall got enough on his looping shot to find the back of the net.

The second half was a cagier affair and it looked like the points were going to be shared. Robins though would have the last laugh. In stoppage-time, he created some space for himself in the penalty area and his low shot found the bottom corner of Hallworth’s net to seal victory for Norwich and take them back to the top of the Premier League table. Discarded by Manchester United and Alex Ferguson, the forward was proving his valuable worth to the Norwich cause. He scored the club’s first Premier League hat-trick and only the second in the history of the league after Eric Cantona’s treble for Leeds United against Tottenham Hotspur back in August.

Norwich stayed top of the table for Christmas but their defensive issues would see them fade away slightly in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, the East Anglian side were a tremendous third in the final standings. Oldham scored plenty of goals throughout the campaign and won their final three matches to avoid the drop on the final day of the season.

 

 

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Memorable Matches: Sheffield Wednesday 4-3 Coventry City (December 1995)

Goalscorers: Dion Dublin 18, 37, 55, Guy Whittingham 25, David Hirst 39, Marc Degryse 60, Mark Bright 73

Teams:

Sheffield Wednesday: Kevin Pressman, Peter Atherton, Steve Nicol, Ian Nolan, Des Walker, Lee Briscoe, Marc Degryse, Chris Waddle (Graham Hyde 85), Mark Bright, David Hirst, Guy Whittingham

Coventry City: Steve Ogrizovic, Marcus Hall, Ally Pickering, David Rennie (Gordon Strachan 74), Richard Shaw, Paul Williams, Kevin Richardson, Paul Telfer, John Salako, Dion Dublin, Peter Ndlovu

Referee: Mike Reed, Attendance: 16,229

Both Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City were struggling in the Premier League table when the sides clashed at Hillsborough on a Monday Night Football in December 1995. The Sky Blues had won just one game all season, whilst David Pleat’s Owls were in the bottom six and looking to find some consistency. Both sides produced thrilling attacking displays which meant the neutral was in for an early December treat.

Coventry took the lead on 18 minutes. Their top goalscorer, Dion Dublin headed home from a corner which looked to have been cleared off the goal-line. However, referee Mike Reed correctly spotted the whole of the ball had crossed the line before it was hooked clear. The visitors’ lead lasted just seven minutes. Lee Briscoe got the better of Ally Pickering on the right-hand side and his cross into the box eventually fell to the feet of Guy Whittingham. Whittingham made no mistake to score his fourth goal in his last three matches against the Midlands club. Whittingham was enjoying this match and so too was Dublin. Eight minutes before the interval, he scored his second of the evening to put Ron Atkinson’s side back infront. Kevin Pressman failed to hold onto John Salako’s ambitious attempt and his spill gave Dublin the simplest of finishes.

Wednesday’s response was even quicker than their first equaliser. Mark Bright ghosted into plenty of space and his shot was saved brilliantly by Steve Ogrizovic. Unfortunately for the Coventry shot-stopper, it fell straight to David Hirst to restore parity. It was his sixth goal of the season as he was on the comeback trail from his most recent injury setback which had been a neck problem.

2-2 at the break, more goals were promised in the second half and sure enough, the entertainment continued on this wet Yorkshire evening. Coventry’s Achilles heel was dealing with crosses and it nearly led to embarrassment for defender Richard Shaw. A Hirst header back across the face of goal was diverted onto his own crossbar by Shaw. Maybe it was a sign that Coventry were going to win and Dublin was in peak form. From Kevin Richardson’s corner, Dublin flicked the ball into the net on 55 minutes to complete his hat-trick. However, Coventry’s defensive ineptitude would ensure the skipper’s goalscoring contribution would be on a losing cause.

Yet again, Atkinson’s side were caught out by a cross. Bright pulled off the back of Shaw from Hirst’s cross and Belgian international Marc Degryse followed up after another save from the unfortunate Ogrizovic. Hirst then went on to hit the post as the Owls definitely finished as the stronger side. The winner came 17 minutes from full-time. Ian Nolan escaped the attentions of Salako and drilled in a cross to the near post that was stabbed home by the excellent Bright. This was the start of Sheffield Wednesday’s most productive month of 1995-1996. They scored 14 goals in four matches and both clubs would avoid relegation but only in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Premier League Files: Clive Mendonca

Premier League Career: Charlton Athletic (1998-1999)

Clive Mendonca will always be linked with being a prominent part of Charlton Athletic’s sensational play-off final victory over Sunderland in 1998. He scored a magnificent hat-trick in the 4-4 draw which the Addicks went on to win on penalties, with Clive also converting his spot-kick in the shootout.

Mendonca started his professional career with Sheffield United in 1986 and also had periods in his career with Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham United. His best spells though were saved for Charlton and Grimsby Town. At Grimsby, he scored 60 goals in 166 appearances and is widely regarded as one of the club’s greatest forwards.

He moved to Charlton in the summer of 1997, scoring 28 times in an unforgettable campaign which ended with that wonderful day at Wembley against the Black Cats which was the club he supported as a boy. He made an amazing start to his Premier League career too, scoring another hat-trick in Charlton’s first match at home against Southampton. Alan Curbishley’s side won 5-0 and spent the weekend on top of the Premier League table.

He finished with eight goals in 24 appearances but injuries were starting to take their toll on Mendonca. His last game in the Charlton line-up came in December 1999 in the First Division. After over two years of constant setbacks, he announced his retirement in February 2002 after being advised by specialists that a further operation on his hip could leave him with permanent damage and possibly a disability.

In 2012, he was inducted into the Charlton Hall of Fame and now works at the Nissan car plant in Sunderland.

Memorable Matches: Newcastle United 5-1 Sunderland (October 2010)

Goalscorers: Kevin Nolan 26, 34, 75, Shola Ameobi 45 PEN, 70, Darren Bent 90

Teams:

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi (Nile Ranger 86), Andy Carroll

Sunderland: Simon Mignolet, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble (SENT OFF), Nedum Onuoha, Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole (John Mensah 76), Ahmed Elmohamady (Asamoah Gyan 40), Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque, Darren Bent, Danny Welbeck (Kieran Richardson 55)

Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 51,988

The Tyne & Wear Derby has seen plenty of classic memories and crucial encounters down the Premier League Years. For Newcastle United supporters, few can topple Halloween 2010 when Sunderland turned up for what turned out to be a horrific afternoon for the visitors.

Steve Bruce’s side started a point above the Magpies and had just beaten Aston Villa in their previous match. Newcastle were also coming off the back of a fine away victory at bottom-placed West Ham United. This eased the pressure on Chris Hughton who was coming under pressure regarding his position as the club’s manager.

Hughton had a simple plan for this match – get balls into the box for Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi to battle with. Their hard work and ability to win balls in the air meant others like Kevin Nolan could benefit – with deadly results. Nolan would enjoy one of the greatest days of his career as Newcastle ran their local rivals ragged all afternoon.

The scoring was opened by the midfielder on 26 minutes. Ameobi won the aerial battle from Joey Barton’s corner. Nolan latched onto the knockdown and even though he was back to goal, he still managed to flick the ball over Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and a couple of defenders on the goal-line. It was wonderful improvisation from the former Bolton man and more was to come.

Just eight minutes later, he doubled Newcastle’s advantage. Good work from Jonas Gutierrez and Carroll saw Nolan profit to finish from close-range after Carroll’s attempted bicycle kick ended in his path. Despite having the pace of Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan in their attacking ranks, Sunderland just couldn’t put it to any use. They were virtually out of the game by half-time.

The home side won a penalty which was confidently dispatched by the excellent Ameobi, who always seemed to raise his game for these occasions. Shortly into the second half, Sunderland’s day got worse. Titus Bramble chopped down Carroll and the ex-Newcastle defender got his marching orders from Phil Dowd, who showed nine yellow cards and didn’t have his best afternoon in the middle.

Newcastle took advantage of the extra man to increase their lead. Carroll, who deserved a goal for his brilliant display was so unlucky when his header in the 70th minute thumped the crossbar. Ameobi was first onto the rebound and smashed the ball past a shell-shocked Mignolet. Nolan’s day was about to be complete, nodding home from close-range five minutes later as Sunderland gave him the freedom of St James’ Park from a corner.

Darren Bent scored a late goal for the visitors but it wasn’t even consolation for Sunderland who had been well and truly humbled. The Black Cats finished above Newcastle in the final table but this was a day of pain and misery. Chris Hughton was harshly sacked in December but this win will go down as one of his greatest achievements as a manager.

Shock Results: Charlton Athletic 1-4 West Bromwich Albion (March 2005)

Goalscorers: Geoff Horsfield 9, Jonatan Johansson 24, Rob Earnshaw 73, 84, 90 PEN

Teams:

Charlton Athletic: Dean Kiely, Talal El Karkouri (SENT OFF), Mark Fish, Hermann Hreidarsson, Luke Young, Paul Konchesky, Jerome Thomas, Danny Murphy (Dennis Rommedahl 77), Matt Holland, Jonatan Johansson (Jason Euell 70), Shaun Bartlett (Bryan Hughes 82)

West Bromwich Albion: Russell Hoult, Martin Albrechtsen, Neil Clement, Thomas Gaardsoe (Darren Moore 22), Paul Robinson, Kieran Richardson (Rob Earnshaw 64), Ronnie Wallwork, Jonathan Greening, Zoltan Gera (Richard Chaplow 86), Geoff Horsfield, Kevin Campbell

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 27,104

Bottom of the league going into this clash at The Valley, time was starting to run out for Bryan Robson and West Bromwich Albion. They’d won just two matches under his reign and were winless away from The Hawthorns. They were facing a Charlton side that were in seventh place and leading the race for the final UEFA Cup qualifying spot.

West Brom were boosted from a 2-0 victory a fortnight earlier at home to Birmingham City and they made a flying start off the back of this win. Nine minutes had been played when Zoltan Gera picked out Geoff Horsfield. Horsfield headed home from close-range with Charlton defenders looking rather static.

This sloppy start was not expected by the home team but it aroused Alan Curbishley’s side from their slumbers. Replacing Dennis Rommedahl in the starting XI, Jonatan Johansson had a point to prove and he delivered with the equaliser. Having just flashed a shot narrowly wide moments earlier, he was played through by Jerome Thomas and made the most of a fortunate bounce off the advancing goalkeeper Russell Hoult to guide the ball into an empty net.

The outcome of the game changed in the 29th minute when referee Mark Halsey flashed out his red card at Charlton defender Talal El Karkouri. El Karkouri’s feet left the ground in a nasty challenge on Gera. Albion players were livid with the tackle, surrounding the Moroccan international who was quite rightly sent off by Halsey. Despite the deficit of playing a man light, Charlton nearly led before the interval. Darren Moore, who had come on for the injured Thomas Gaardsoe had to clear a goal-line effort from Hermann Hreidarsson.

With 25 minutes left to play, Robson elected to switch to a 4-3-3 formation, sacrificing Kieran Richardson for Rob Earnshaw. The Welshman would have a sensational outcome on the match. Nine minutes after his arrival, he gave the visitors the lead. Paul Robinson had acres of space and produced a delightful cross to the back post. Horsfield won the header against Paul Konchesky and Earnshaw was in the right place to guide the ball past Dean Kiely.

With six minutes remaining, it was game over. Gera produced his second assist of the afternoon, with a neatly-threaded pass into Earnshaw’s path. He exposed the Charlton high offside line and commandingly beat Kiely to make it 3-1. However, there was one more moment of joy for the Albion supporters. In stoppage-time, Richard Chaplow was scythed down on his Premier League debut by Bryan Hughes. Halsey awarded a penalty and Earnshaw dispatched it effectively, to make it 10 Premier League goals for the season. It also meant he became the first player to score a hat-trick in all of England’s top four divisions, the FA Cup, the League Cup and at international level for Wales. It started West Brom’s amazing escape act, as they survived on the final day of the season.

Memorable Matches: Southampton 4-2 Fulham (October 2002)

Goalscorers: Lee Clark 15, Steed Malbranque 25, James Beattie 27 PEN, 42, 52, Brett Ormerod 72

Teams:

Southampton: Antti Niemi, Wayne Bridge, Jason Dodd, Claus Lundekvam, Michael Svensson, Chris Marsden, Matt Oakley, Fabrice Fernandes, Anders Svensson, James Beattie, Brett Ormerod (Agustin Delgado 79)

Fulham: Edwin van der Sar, Rufus Brevett, Steve Finnan, Alain Goma, Zat Knight (Abdeslam Ouaddou 59), Martin Djetou (Barry Hayles 63), Sylvain Legwinski, Lee Clark, Luis Boa Morte, Steed Malbranque, Steve Marlet

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 26,188

25 minutes into this clash and it looked like Southampton’s unbeaten start to their home season was set to end. Trailing 2-0 to in-form Fulham, they needed a hero on the south coast to rally themselves back into this match. Luckily, they had one in James Beattie who scored a brilliant hat-trick to help the Saints turn the game completely on its head.

Southampton went into this match on the fringes of the top 10 and had just recorded their first away win of the campaign at Aston Villa six days earlier, with Beattie the only goalscorer from the penalty spot. Fulham were flying in the top six and had already held Manchester United and Chelsea in the 2002-2003 season. On a very gusty afternoon at St. Mary’s, this looked like it was going to be an evenly-fought contest.

It was the visitors who made the better start and they took the lead slightly fortuitously after 15 minutes. Lee Clark tried his luck from distance and his shot took a deflection off Southampton defender Michael Svensson, leaving Antti Niemi completely helpless. 10 minutes later, it was 2-0. Defenders just stood and watched as Steed Malbranque made one of his trademark late runs into the penalty area. The Frenchman fired home past Niemi and it gave the home side a mountain to climb. However, they were level just before half-time.

Two minutes after the Cottagers had established the two-goal lead, the advantage had been halved. Brett Ormerod won a penalty off the hand of Alain Goma. Confident after slotting away his penalty the previous Monday at Villa Park, Beattie sent Edwin van der Sar the wrong way to get Southampton on the scoreboard. Three minutes before half-time, Fabrice Fernandes’ delightful cross was met by the head of Beattie, who guided his header beyond the Dutch goalkeeper. The marking from Fulham was very suspect to say the least but Beattie and Southampton weren’t going to care about that.

Into the second half and there only looked like being one winner. Southampton were dealing with the high winds far better than the opponents and it showed. Six minutes into the second half, Beattie completed his hat-trick; the first of his Premier League career. Anders Svensson’s free-kick was inch-perfect and the striker rose above his markers to complete his personal milestone. The scoring was completed on 72 minutes by Ormerod, converting from close-range after industrious work from Chris Marsden.

Southampton’s fourth successive win in all competitions put them in the top half and they would stay there too, finishing eighth. Fulham faded to 14th and their manager Jean Tigana lost his job before the season ended after contract talks broke down. This day though belonged to James Beattie – the hero the Saints needed as he began to charge his way to his only 20-goal season of his career.

Memorable Matches: Leicester City 5-2 Sunderland (March 2000)

Goalscorers: Stan Collymore 17, 60, 87, Emile Heskey 34, Kevin Phillips 53, Niall Quinn 75, Stefan Oakes 90

Teams:

Leicester City: Tim Flowers, Matt Elliott, Gerry Taggart, Frank Sinclair, Darren Eadie (Stefan Oakes 56), Steve Guppy, Neil Lennon, Robbie Savage, Muzzy Izzet, Stan Collymore, Emile Heskey

Sunderland: Thomas Sorensen, Paul Butler, Jody Craddock, Chris Makin, Eric Roy (John Oster 71), Alex Rae, Stefan Schwarz, Darren Holloway (Nicky Summerbee 45), Kevin Kilbane, Niall Quinn, Kevin Phillips

Referee: Neale Barry, Attendance: 20,432

Having joined Leicester City a month earlier after falling out of favour at Aston Villa, Stan Collymore was keen to show his doubters wrong. He had his chance infront of the Sky Sports cameras on his home debut at Filbert Street as the Foxes’ hosted Sunderland in an end-to-end contest that saw seven goals and a reminder of his class when he was at his absolute best.

Collymore had already been in trouble with new manager Martin O’Neill for an off-field incident in a hotel during a club training camp break in La Manga. This was his second match for the club and after 16 minutes, he produced a spectacular opening goal. His half-volley from a flick-on by his new strike partner Emile Heskey left Thomas Sorensen completely helpless.

It was always going to be an entertaining contest. Sunderland had impressed many on their return to the top-flight but had the poorest defensive record in the top 10 coming into the match and it was exposed again 10 minutes before half-time. Neil Lennon won possession in the heart of midfield and he played Heskey in. He took one touch and finished in-between Sorensen’s legs.

Peter Reid was not happy with his team’s performance and withdrew Darren Holloway at half-time, replacing him with Nicky Summerbee. They did come close to reducing the deficit when Leicester defender Matt Elliott’s clearance at the near post hit his own crossbar. It was a warning sign to the Foxes but it wasn’t adhered to. Kevin Phillips’ half-volley from the edge of the penalty area on 53 minutes reduced the arrears. It was the 100th goal of his league career and 24th of an amazing individual season that saw him clinch the Golden Boot at the end of the campaign.

Leicester restored their two-goal lead on the hour mark. Lennon chalked up his second assist of the match. His beautiful cross was met by Collymore who directed the ball into the top corner of Sorensen’s net. One thing Reid had installed in Sunderland’s armoury was the ability to respond clinically and he had one of the best strike partnerships in the country at the time in Phillips and Niall Quinn. The Republic of Ireland forward joined Philips on the scoresheet with 15 minutes left. His curling strike would set-up a grandstand finish.

The day though would belong to Collymore. He completed his hat-trick with a striker’s tap-in. The finish was slightly scuffed but he wouldn’t be complaining about that and nor were the Leicester supporters. With time running out, substitute Stefan Oakes added a fifth to ensure the Black Cats’ conceded five on their travels for the second time this season, having shipped five at Everton on Boxing Day.

The sides would finish seventh and eighth at the end of the season. This day though belonged to Leicester and to the maverick that was Stan Collymore.

Memorable Matches: Queens Park Rangers 3-2 West Bromwich Albion (December 2014)

Goalscorers: Joleon Lescott 10, Silvestre Varela 20, Charlie Austin 24 PEN, 48, 86

Teams:

Queens Park Rangers: Robert Green, Yun Suk-Young (Clint Hill 30), Nedum Onuoha, Steven Caulker, Richard Dunne, Joey Barton, Leroy Fer, Karl Henry, Charlie Austin, Eduardo Vargas (Junior Hoilett 67), Bobby Zamora (Niko Kranjcar 80)

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Sebastien Pocognoli (Cristian Gamboa 90), Andre Wisdom, Joleon Lescott, Gareth McAuley, Graham Dorrans, Craig Gardner, James Morrison, Stephane Sessegnon, Silvestre Varela, Brown Ideye (Saido Berahino 69)

Referee: Craig Pawson, Attendance: 17,560

Going into this pre-Christmas match, both Queens Park Rangers and West Bromwich Albion were in the need for three points. Harry Redknapp’s side had failed to take a single point away from home but were in fine form at Loftus Road, taking 10 points from their last four home encounters. West Brom had just beaten Aston Villa in their last match to ease the pressure slightly on their head coach, Alan Irvine.

It was the visitors’ who made the better start and completely dominated in the first 20 minutes. Craig Gardner and Brown Ideye both came close to opening the scoring but it was a defender who would ultimately break the deadlock. Sebastien Pocognoli’s corner was flicked on by Stephane Sessegnon and Joleon Lescott headed home. Lescott was a summer arrival from Manchester City and this was his first goal since September 2012.

1-0 after 10 minutes became 2-0 after 20 minutes. Silvestre Varela linked up with Sessegnon, playing some smart one-touch football and he finished coolly inside the penalty area. Varela was on-loan from FC Porto and had struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League. It was his first goal for the club and ultimately, his only goal in the Baggies’ colours.

Redknapp’s side needed a swift response and it arrived via the penalty spot just four minutes later. Referee Craig Pawson punished James Morrison for tugging away at Leroy Fer’s shirt. Charlie Austin, back from suspension after seeing red in QPR’s last home match against Burnley, made no mistake from the penalty spot. This goal meant he had scored in each of QPR’s last five home matches.

Despite getting back into the game, QPR were still second-best for the remainder of the first half. Green’s agility levels were tested on two further occasions before the interval to deny Gardner from a deflected free-kick and a dangerous drive from the impressive Sessegnon. West Brom’s failure to take their chances would cost them dearly in the second half.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Joey Barton’s corner was headed onto the crossbar by Richard Dunne. The ball fell perfectly to Austin, who bundled home a loose ball to level the scores. A winning goal always looked likely for either side and with Austin on the pitch, QPR could not be discounted. Four minutes from time, he climbed highest to head home another Barton corner. It was his ninth goal in the last seven matches and his maiden hat-trick in the Premier League.

The result lifted QPR out of the bottom three and into 15th spot, level on points with their opponents. Irvine lasted another two matches before being sacked. Tony Pulis succeeded him and steered Albion clear of any relegation danger. Despite the goals of Austin, QPR were relegated before the end of the season. This was their day though and one of the best comebacks of the 2014-2015 season.

Great Goals: Dimitar Berbatov – MANCHESTER UNITED vs. Liverpool FC (September 2010)

With Wayne Rooney struggling for form after a difficult summer at the World Cup in South Africa, Manchester United turned to Dimitar Berbatov to fill the goalscoring void. Seen as a misfit after struggling to find any serious form in 2009-2010, the Bulgarian could be brilliant on his day. In September 2010 against Liverpool FC, he was outstanding.

Berbatov had already put the home side infront, evading some slack marking from Fernando Torres to head home from a corner. In the 58th minute, he made it 2-0 with a sublime bicycle kick. Darren Fletcher started the move with a long ball that found Nani out wide. Paul Konchesky backed off the winger, allowing the Portuguese to cross the ball into the Liverpool box. It found Berbatov who controlled it superbly in the air. Still with his back to goal, he produced a special overhead kick that left Pepe Reina completely stranded.

A quick-fire double from Steven Gerrard pulled Liverpool FC back into the contest but it was Berbatov’s day. He headed home a late winner to complete his hat-trick. This was his match and a vintage moment from a player who was always capable of the spectacular.

Premier League Files: Callum Wilson

Premier League Career: AFC Bournemouth (2015-PRESENT)

He is still only 25 and that means Callum Wilson should have plenty of time to demonstrate his true potential. Sadly, two wretched injuries whilst playing in the Premier League with AFC Bournemouth suggests that his time could unfortunately be limited. That would be a real shame for a player who has shown a ruthless approach to finding the back of the net when he is free of injury.

Born in Coventry, Wilson started his career with his hometown club and made his professional debut in 2009 during a surprising League Cup reverse to Hartlepool United. Naturally, it took time for Callum to remove the raw edge to his game. Loan spells in the non-league with Kettering Town and Tamworth certainly did no harm to this.

In 2013-2014, he established himself as a regular in the starting XI at Coventry City. Wilson was often one of the bright sparks in a club that was often lurching from one crisis to another thanks to dreadful running of the club by its owners. He finished the third-highest scorer in League One with 22 goals and earned himself a place in the League One PFA Team of the Year. That was despite spending two months on the sidelines due to a dislocated shoulder. He won three gongs at the club’s end of season awards and developed an excellent partnership with his strike partner, Leon Clarke.

Coventry knew that this form was always going to make Wilson a transfer target, especially with their precarious financial situation. He joined AFC Bournemouth in July 2014 for £3 million and made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-0 thumping away at Huddersfield Town. He scored 20 league goals and these strikes helped the Cherries’ win promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

Wilson made AFC Bournemouth history in the club’s third Premier League match. He opened the scoring at Upton Park against West Ham United to score the south coast side’s first goal in the Premier League. He didn’t finish there. Wilson went on to score a hat-trick; the first treble of the 2015-2016 Premier League season.

Further goals followed against Leicester City and Sunderland. There was even talk of Roy Hodgson watching him closely for a possible England call-up. Sadly, a cruel twist of fate would await Wilson. In late September, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the early stages of a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City. It was a sickening blow for player and club.  It was the third serious ligament injury of Bournemouth’s maiden season. Wilson would be out of action for six months but made his return in early April, arriving as a substitute in an away win at Aston Villa.

He was keen to ensure 2016-2017 would be an impressive season but much of the same story would follow. There were goals against Liverpool FC and Arsenal but in February 2017, another luckless injury in training would stop his second Premier League campaign in its tracks. Unbelievably, it was another ACL and this time, in his left knee. It has meant another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Callum Wilson will be hoping to feature soon in the 2017-2018 Premier League season. If he can stay clear of these dreaded setbacks, he is a sharp shooter and an excellent finisher which would benefit Bournemouth significantly in what looks like a relegation battle in their third PL campaign.

Premier League Files: Yannick Bolasie

Premier League Career: Crystal Palace (2013-2016), Everton (2016-PRESENT)

Born in Lyon, Yannick Bolasie has nothing slow about his game. His main attribute is speed. Bolasie has given plenty of full-backs the run-around and he will be hoping to return even better from a serious injury that stopped his first season at Everton in its tracks.

Bolasie started out at the now defunct club Rushden & Diamonds. He spent four months in their youth side when he was just 16. After a spell playing in the lower echelons of English football with Hillingdon Borough in the Southern Football League, he moved back into mainland Europe. Yannick graced the Maltese Premier League with Floriana.

He returned to England in 2008 and spent the majority of his early professional days in this country at Plymouth Argyle, either side of a couple of loan spells in the capital with Barnet. In 2011, Bolasie transferred to Bristol City and impressed the fans at Ashton Gate with his rapid rate of development. So much so, they voted for the DR Congo international to be their Young Player of the Year. Unfortunately for them, Bolasie missed London and in August 2012, elected to submit a transfer request. It was reluctantly accepted and he would join Crystal Palace.

His contribution to the Eagles’ cause was fleeting to start with. They returned to the Premier League in his first season at the club but he was largely an impact substitute. In fact, he was an unused substitute in the playoff final victory over Watford at Wembley Stadium. Ian Holloway didn’t seem to trust his qualities and he didn’t figure in the club’s opening six Premier League matches.

He eventually featured in the top-flight for the first time as a substitute in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool FC in October 2013. Holloway left the club shortly afterwards and he started more frequently for Tony Pulis although he chalked up a red card in an away win at Hull City in November 2013. Although he failed to score a goal in Palace’s successful survival season, his prominence was clear. Bolasie set-up two of the three goals in the famous comeback against Liverpool FC in May 2014 when the south Londoners came from 3-0 down to rescue a draw and all but bury the Reds’ title aspirations.

2014-2015 was Bolasie’s real breakthrough season. His maiden Premier League strike came in a 3-2 away win over Everton in September 2014. Later that season, he ensured his name in the Crystal Palace record books by becoming the first player from the club to score a hat-trick in the Premier League. His treble came in a 4-1 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and was a quick-fire treble. It took just 11 minutes for Bolasie to register his three strikes on a sunny afternoon in Wearside.

After intense transfer speculation in the summer of 2016, Bolasie eventually moved to Everton just a week into the 2016-2017 campaign for an approximate £25million transfer fee. In 13 Premier League appearances for the Toffees’, he had scored once in defeat to Burnley and was credited with four assists. In early December, he limped out of the draw with Manchester United after what looked like an innocuous collision with Anthony Martial. Tests later revealed a cruciate knee ligament injury which would rule him out for a full year.

Yannick has recently indicated that he hopes to be back in the Everton playing squad by the end of the 2017 calendar year. Whether that is a realistic or ambitious target, time will tell. However, everyone will want to see him return to full fitness because he still has the ability to fulfil his true potential.

Memorable Matches: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United (September 2012)

Goalscorers: Rickie Lambert 15, Robin van Persie 22, 86, 90, Morgan Schneiderlin 54

Teams:

Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Jos Hooiveld, Jose Fonte, Daniel Fox, Morgan Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse, Adam Lallana (Jay Rodriguez 78), Jason Puncheon (Emmanuel Mayuka 74), Rickie Lambert (Guly do Prado 75)

Manchester United: Anders Lindegaard, Rafael, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley (Paul Scholes 61), Michael Carrick, Shinji Kagawa (Nani 61), Danny Welbeck (Javier Hernandez 71), Robin van Persie

Referee: Mike Dean, Attendance: 31,609

In the summer of 2012, Robin van Persie elected not to sign a new contract at Arsenal. With just a year left on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners’ had little choice but to sell him or risk losing him a year later for absolutely nothing. Both Manchester clubs expressed an interest in signing the Dutchman but it was United who beat City to his signature. It was the kind of move that Sir Alex Ferguson made which brought about echoes of his purchase of Eric Cantona 20 years earlier.

Van Persie had scored on his home debut a week earlier against Fulham and was hungry for more in the Red Devils’ next match which was a trip to newly-promoted Southampton. Wayne Rooney was missing through injury whilst David de Gea was dropped after two indifferent performances for Anders Lindegaard.

Lindegaard couldn’t keep a clean sheet though. Southampton started brightly and took the lead on 15 minutes. Rickie Lambert outjumped Rafael at the back post to nod home his second goal of the season. A fortnight earlier, Lambert had scored against Manchester City in a narrow 3-2 defeat. This time, he was hoping to be on the scoresheet in a winning contribution against a Manchester side.

The lead didn’t last long though. Antonio Valencia’s cross found Van Persie and displaying his usual predatory instincts; the marksman beat Kelvin Davis on the half-volley. It was a cracking game with chances at both ends and the scores even at half-time.

Like the first half, it was Nigel Adkins’ side that started stronger following a break in play. They caused Ferguson’s team huge problems on the counter-attack. Lambert’s cross headed into the back of Lindegaard’s net by the efficient Morgan Schneiderlin. With Tom Cleverley struggling against James Ward-Prowse in midfield, Ferguson decided to bring on experience in Paul Scholes in the 61st minute. It was another inspired move. Scholes immediately started to spray passes across the pitch and completely took control of the central midfield battle.

In the 68th minute, Jos Hooiveld made a clumsy challenge on Van Persie and Mike Dean had little option but to give a spot-kick. However, the usual reliable Dutchman was too casual with his penalty on this occasion. Davis was able to stop his chipped effort. Van Persie though would not be denied. His late double cruelly denying the Saints’ at least a point from a gripping encounter. His first Manchester United hat-trick meant he had already started repaying the £24m transfer fee spent on him by Ferguson.

Any debt had been welly and truly repaid by the season’s end. RVP was top scorer for the second season running and spearheaded Manchester United to a 20th league title in what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s swansong season. Southampton controversially dismissed Adkins in mid-January but comfortably survived under the guidance of a certain Mauricio Pochettino.