The greatest Anfield hat-tricks this week, loads to choose from but here’s our final list. Hopefully in years to come we’ll have a few Andy Carroll hat-tricks it there. Oh, erm, piss off Ndlovu and Arshavin – this is strictly LFC…
Here’s our top five, let us know your thoughts:
FIVE – Peter Crouch vs Arsenal – 2007
It’s not often anyone grabs a perfect hat-trick so for Crouchie to do so in such style and complete it at the Kop end makes it a memorable top five treble for us. This Arsenal team were no mugs, less than a year earlier they were European Cup finalists and just a few months earlier they’d come to Anfield and hit six in the Carling Cup so some serious payback was due and Crouch delivered it. Pennant and Arbeloa combined brilliantly on the right flank and the Spaniard’s cross was slid home inside of four minutes (right foot), before Crouch expertly converted Aurelio’s cross (header) for number two. Pennant was again involved for the hat-trick goal; a brilliant piece of footwork from the big man and a clinical finish (left foot) to leave the Kop delighted and round of a resounding 4-1 win.
FOUR – Peter Beardsley vs Man Utd – 1990
Having thought he would never make it and deeming him surplus to requirements, Man Utd were forced to eat some serious humble pie by Peter Beardsley in 1990, returning to haunt them with a three-goal haul in one of the most one-sided wins (4-0) over that lot from down the East Lancs that put Ferguson under some serious pressure. Having notched two predatory strikes in the first half, he completed his treble in front of the Kop with a Dossena-esque chip over Les Sealey (RIP) who expressed his frustration by blasting the match ball into the stands to keep it out of Beardo’s hands for a short while longer.
THREE – Dirk Kuyt vs Man Utd – 2011
Fast-forward 21 years and the Mancs found themselves on the wrong end of another famous hat-trick on a sumptuous spring afternoon at Anfield that saw Ferguson’s men firmly put in their place by an aggressive, bolshy and fervent Liverpool side. Luis Suarez did 99% of the work on the Anny Road byline with a tantalising dribble past three United players before his goalward poke was touched home by Dirk for no.1, before the Dutchman steered home the second after more poor United defending. Like Beardo, he completed his hat-trick in front of the Kop, following in a Suarez free-kick like a true fox in the box put the cherry on the icing on King Kenny’s birthday cake.
TWO – Alun Evans vs Bayern Munich – 1971
Not as well-known amongst younger fans, Evans was one of those ‘never quite happened for him’ sort of strikers – a real good lad who worked hard for the team and showed glimpses of real promise but ultimately failed to handle the pressure of being Britain’s most expensive teenager when Shanks forked out £100,000 for him in 1968. He wasn’t helped by injuries either but showed great character from a long lay-off in the 1970-71 season to bounce back with his greatest night in a red shirt, as he scored a hat-trick against a Bayern Munich side featuring the likes of Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller. Anfield was rocking – of course this Bayern side would go on to win three successive European Cups between 1974 and 1976. As for Evans, he eventually moved on after the arrival of Keegan.
ONE – Robbie Fowler vs Arsenal – 1994
It was only a few months since the old Kop had bowed out at the end of the 1993-94 season but you wouldn’t have guessed it with the noise generated to celebrate a Godly treble – the quickest Premier League hat-trick in history. This Arsenal side no longer had George Graham but still had the defensive axis of Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown and Winterburn yet they were put to the sword by young Robbie Fowler three times in four minutes and thirty-three seconds just before half-time in an incredible August league game. Robbie swept home his first after hesitant Arsenal defending before a driving McManaman run found God on the edge of the box and his sweet left-foot shot drove through Dixon’s legs made it two. Before the Anfield crowd could get their breath back, Digger’s ball over the top caught the famed Gunners’ backline out after another crafty Fowler run and Robbie eventually clipped the ball home to create history.