Aston Villa won their first League game of the season in a big way last weekend, beating Norwich City 4-2. If the scoreline wasn’t good enough, midfield maestro Conor Hourihane netted himself three goals, a rare Villa hat trick.
Hourihane’s brilliance got us thinking, what other sublime Aston Villa hat tricks have we witnessed over the years? So we thought we’d share with you our favourites, along with a couple of non Villa triples, whilst we are at it.
Q. Last weekend, Conor Hourihane scored the first Aston Villa hat-trick since Christian Benteke against QPR in 2015. What is your favourite Villa hat-trick, and what is your favourite non Villa hat-trick?
Fave Villa hat trick? It's Gabby's against Manchester City. Saw it in person and it was a delight. Left foot, right foot and header. Those were the days, eh?
As for non-Villa, I'll have to be a fool and go for the one Sadio Mane grabbed against us a few years back. We were destroyed, so I won't look back in anger. What a talent he was, and man - that was rapid.
Hat.... Trick? What are these words. I can barely get used to goals -- let along three from one player. Looking back -- I'd have to say my favorite Villa hat trick was Benteke helping to ensure survival with three in the second half against Sunderland in April 2013. It was a six-pointer and I remember the relief of the victory more than any actual celebration. The oddest thing about it -- I was not able to watch the match because I was at work -- so it was a celebration through watching tweets and gifs of giant "phew" coming from Villans world wide.
All time favorite. Carli Lloyd of the US Women's National Team. Three goals in fifteen minutes in the World Cup Final. Doesn't get much better than that.
For me, without question, my favourite Villa hat trick was Gabby's against City on opening day in 2008. I believe he scored three in just over seven minutes on the pitch. At that time Premier League coverage was becoming more readily available in the states. Being able to see more matches, I had been following the club on a week-to-week basis for a few seasons. Those teams under MON were certainly a pleasure to watch at times and Gabby's hat trick was an early sign of the promising run ahead. I think everyone longs to see us back to where we were in those seasons.
As per a non-Villa hat trick, my personal favourite is Fernando Torres for Liverpool against Hull City on September 26, 2009. It's a fond memory of an enjoyable term at university in Liverpool. For that match we went to a wine bar on Lark Lane. It was a good group of people and a great day out. Though as I recall, Villa lost to Blackburn on that day. Suffice to say, a few beverages were consumed as a result.
I hate to do this, but I’m giving the exact same two answers as Phil — which means I’ll tell a couple stories.
The Benteke hat trick against Sunderland was really fun, because it’s when I was still in high school, and being spring, it was baseball season. It was also a weeknight match, which means Villa were playing at the same time we were practicing. So there I was, checking my phone every handful of minutes, trying to make sure I stayed out of sight from the coaches, and it felt like every time I checked, Villa had scored again. What made it even better was that one of my friends on the team is a Newcastle supporter, so he was nearly as pleased as I.
On Lloyd: Most Americans go on vacations somewhere quiet — the beach, a cabin in the woods, etc. — or to Disney World. While we made our fair share of Disney trips, my dad and I typically took a different approach: we planned nearly each holiday (as y’all in the U.K. would call it) around seeing sporting events. We mostly chased baseball games — we’ve been to 25 of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums — but as time went on, the scope broadened. In 2015, we finally got around to hitting up the Pacific Northwest, because it provided a perfect opportunity: we were able to catch the U.S. outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, the center of the sport; the best derby in American soccer in Portland, as the Timbers hosted the Sounders; a baseball game in Seattle, the farthest trip from home; and the Women’s World Cup Final up in Vancouver. We were going to the Final irrespective of who was playing, but Carli made it an even more incredible experience than we could’ve dreamed it to be.
Definitely John Carew's hat trick against Newcastle back in the day. Newcastle are a fun team to beat and it was a 4-1 win which also saw Wilfried Bouma score his only goal for Villa. A good day all round.
Away from Villa, Robert Earnshaw’s hat trick for Wales vs Scotland was pretty awesome. Sure, it was only a friendly, but it was one of the first national team games I remember watching, so it sticks in the memory. And of course, who can forget his trademark front flip celebration?
Do you have a favourite Villa hat trick? Let us know in the comments below.