With Advent now under way and the countdown to Christmas now on, Typical City is looking at an incident, player or match specific to the club that corresponds with each date. In today’s edition, Rob Toole looks at 3 of his favourite City hat-tricks…
A hat-trick is a truly wonderful thing. To score a single goal in a game is often great but, occasionally, there can be an element of luck involved meaning that the scorer is rather fortuitous to find themselves on the score sheet. With a hat-trick, though, there is very rarely, if at all, any luck involved. Indeed, if a player manages to score three or more goals in a single game it usually coincides with that player being on the top of their game. The end result is mesmerising.
There have been many great hat-tricks through the years at Manchester City. Here are my top 3 City hat-tricks, in no particular order.
Sergio Aguero vs Bayern Munich – 25th November 2014
If a single performance encapsulated Sergio Aguero’s ability to carry a team this game certainly did that. This was by no means a vintage City performance but thanks to Aguero the Blues came out smiling by the time the final whistle blew. Indeed, for large swathes of the match City were outplayed by a ten man Bayern Munich team. City took the lead after Aguero’s first half penalty and with Mehdi Benatia seeing red for the foul which lead to the penalty it looked like a much less daunting prospect for City. Bayern had other ideas, though. What followed was an archetypal Pep Guardiola performance as Bayern controlled the possession and tempo of the game. Two goals late in the first half meant that the Germans had regained the initiative without allowing City to settle at all.
The majority of the second half was much the same and City’s chances of progressing to the next stage of the competition were hanging by a thread. Although defeat would not be terminal, it would have meant City needing a huge victory away at Roma and as well as bettering CSKA Moscow’s result in the final group games to qualify. With full time edging ever closer, Aguero took the game by the scruff of the next to drag City over the line. After Stevan Jovetic intercepted Xabi Alonso’s pass the ball fell to Aguero who was able to sprint through the defence a calmly slot past Manuel Neuer in the 85th minute. With the game into injury time Aguero then managed to panic former City man, Jerome Boateng, and steal possession. Seconds later the ball was in the back of the net and the Etihad was rocking.
Robinho vs Stoke City – 26th October 2008
After becoming the richest club in the world on the final day of the 2008 summer transfer window the symbol of City’s new found wealth was Robinho. The Brazilian forward was signed from Real Madrid as a statement of intent from the new owners and he was a symbol of optimism for the Blues. Other than Robinho and a few other notable exceptions, City were still a side bereft of real quality in the 2008/09 season as the opportunity to really spend big had not yet arisen. That said, there were still some great days that were a joy to behold.
When Stoke City came to town in October 200 it was arguably the Robinho’s finest moment in a blue shirt. The Brazilian bagged a hat-trick as City ran out 3-0 winners and he showed what great qualities he has. In particular, he link up play with a then 19 year old Daniel Sturridge was extremely impressive as the young Academy graduate laid on two assists for Robinho.
Although Robinho was never the greatest City player he did show us a glimpse of what being the richest club in world could be like in the years to come. On that afternoon against Stoke he was everyone’s favourite player.
Carlos Tevez vs Norwich City – 14th April 2012
As City marched towards to their first Premier League title in the spring of 2012, Roberto Mancini’s men were in scintillating form. With Carlos Tevez back in the side after six months exile in Argentina the deadly duo of Tevez and Sergio Aguero set about making opposition defences’ lives a misery. That was no more apparent than when City travelled to a sun-kissed Carrow Road to take on Norwich City.
What followed was perhaps Tevez and Aguero’s best performance together as the former bagged a hat-trick and the latter got a brace. Tevez got the scoring underway with easily his best effort of the day: picking up the ball on the right hand side he lashed a swerving effort towards John Ruddy’s goal. Although the ‘keeper could have done better such was the power of the shot it was almost unstoppable. After teeing up Aguero for City’s second with a fine back heel, Tevez got himself on the score sheet again in the second half when he capitalised on a rebound to head home. The hat-trick was completed shortly afterwards as a weak back pass put Tevez through on goal for an easy finish after rounding Ruddy.
The rest, as they say, is history…
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Written by Rob Toole