There was plenty of wonderful football in the Premier League on Saturday, but over in Spain the match of the weekend saw Barcelona defeat Deportivo la Coruna 5-4. The match saw a wonderful hat trick of goals from Lionel Messi, and also Cesc Fabregas picking up his own hat trick of assists. Incidentally it also saw a bizarre own goal volleyed lob from Jordi Alba of such technical flair it could only have come from a Spaniard.
There was an own goal too from Wayne Rooney, a header that gave Stoke an unlikely lead at Old Trafford. Rooney also scored a header for the equaliser, in fact his goal at the right end was almost a carbon copy of his first. The England striker also tucked in a loose ball to secure his side a 4-2 win in what was a remarkable outing. Though playing in a deeper role as Ferguson set his side up with Welbeck, Rooney and van Persie all starting, it is good news for his side that Rooney has now opened his account this season. Such is Manchester United’s attacking threat, it probably won’t be too long before he grabs himself a proper hat trick.
Although, given that Rooney has already provided four goals this year, perhaps he will mirror Fabregas’ achievement first. The former Arsenal man looked back to his irrepressible best as he laid on two goals for Lionel Messi, and one (in the right end) for Jordi Alba. Fabregas has had a slow start to the season, but now has three goals and three assists in his past four clubs appearances, and is forming a formidable partnership with Lionel Messi.
Finally, onto Messi himself. Five goals in his past two league appearances takes him to eleven in eight La Liga games this season, and his hat trick on Saturday night was awe-inspiring. The first was a left foot shot rifled into the top corner from just outside the box. For the second he used his right foot to steer a low shot into the side netting, and the third was perhaps the pick of the bunch, turning round one defender before moving past two more and sending a low shot into the corner to guarantee Barcelona the three points.
Three remarkable players, three remarkable hat tricks, though I wonder if Jordi Alba’s own goal may live longest in the memory.
image: © nasmac