Who are United's greatest hat-trick heroes?
Anthony Martial scored Manchester United's first hat-trick in the Premier League for seven years when netting all the goals in the 3-0 victory over Sheffield United on Wednesday.
To mark the occasion, we delved into the record books to discover some facts and trivia about previous trebles in the red shirt.
Anthony is certainly in esteemed company after taking his overall tally for the season to 19 and drawing level with Marcus Rashford as our top scorer.
MARTIAL EST MAGNIFIQUE
Anthony scored twice on his second league appearance for the Reds, at Southampton in September 2015. The France international has also hit doubles against West Ham (twice in 2016), Chelsea in 2018 and, most recently, Newcastle United on Boxing Day. But this was the first hat-trick of his senior career.
Martial became the 92nd player to net at least three times in a game for United and the first Frenchman to do so. Eric Cantona did not bag a hat-trick for the Reds, despite his huge contribution, but he did score one in the Premier League for former club Leeds United, which was the very first in the new competition, against Tottenham in 1992.
VAN THE MAN
The last league hat-trick by a Red was a famous one: Robin van Persie bagging all three goals in a 2013 win over Aston Villa that sealed the title. One of them was an explosive volley that is often replayed. The Dutchman also got one at Southampton earlier that campaign, despite missing a penalty, and the following season his treble overturned Olympiacos's 2-0 first-leg lead in a Champions League match at Old Trafford. There have since been two other triple strikes in Europe, by Wayne Rooney (v Club Brugge) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Saint-Etienne).
DENIS THE MENACE
Denis Law is our all-time record holder when it comes to hat-tricks, with an astonishing 18 in total – and the Lawman scored four times on four occasions. The deadly Scotsman, who is six trebles clear of second-placed Jack Rowley, is also the last man to score three times in a defeat for the Reds – against Leicester City in 1963.
Norman Whiteside was our last player to claim the match-ball in an FA Cup tie, as he sparkled in a 4-2 quarter-final win against West Ham United at Old Trafford in 1985. Of course, the Northern Irishman would go on to bag the winner in the final against Everton at Wembley that season. Our last League Cup hat-trick was Carlos Tevez's four-goal blast past Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford in December 2008.
Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa is the last non-striker to score three in a match for the Reds. He achieved the feat in the 4-0 success against Norwich City in 2013 at Old Trafford. Paul Scholes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Lee Sharpe, Jesper Olsen and Sammy McIlroy are others to do so. If we're classifying Cristiano Ronaldo as a winger, he famously only struck one treble – in a 6-0 win over Newcastle United in January 2008.
Our leading marksman, Wayne Rooney, scored eight hat-tricks for United, leaving him fourth on the all-time list behind Law, Rowley and Dennis Viollet. That haul is one more than Sir Bobby Charlton, the man whose goals record he overtook. The former Reds and England captain scored two trebles against Bolton Wanderers and, famously, marked his debut in 2004 with one against Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
The last Academy or youth-team product to notch one is Paul Scholes, who shone in a 6-2 romp at Newcastle at St James' Park in 2003. Mark Hughes, Whiteside, McIlroy and Andy Ritchie are others to achieve the feat. George Best hit six in an 8-2 triumph at Northampton Town in the FA Cup in 1970, matching Harold Halse's tally in the 1911 Charity Shield win over Swindon Town.
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