Scoring a hat-trick is the ultimate signifier of greatness in football. You can get lucky and score one goal. Even with two, there can be more than a slice of good fortune. But three is no accident.
As football is a low-scoring game, the iconography which is attached to scoring a treble is unparalleled within sport.
Since the Premier League was formed in 1992, 343 hat-tricks have been scored. In this complete guide to Premier League hat-tricks, we’ll run you through some of the most significant and defining trebles of the era.
Who Scored the First Premier League hat-trick?
It is fitting that the first hat-trick in the Premier League was scored by arguably the most iconic player in the division’s history: Eric Cantona.
Cantona netted three times as his Leeds United side ran out 5-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur on 25 August 1992 on the 4th matchday of newly-formed top-tier.
He scored a superb volley, a fine header and a poacher’s effort. Somewhat surprisingly, it was his only Premier League hat-trick.
Who has scored the most Premier League Hat-tricks?
Harry Kane – 8 Hat-tricks
Come the end of his career, Harry Kane will almost certainly find himself further up this list. The England and Spurs captain has netted 152 Premier League goals at the time of writing and is widely tipped as the only realistic challenger for Alan Shearer’s record.
He is also one of only five players to have scored hat-tricks in consecutive matches after netting thrice against both Leicester City and Hull City in May 2017. He repeated the feat in December of the same year, this time scoring hat-tricks against both Everton and Burnley.
Michael Owen – 8 Hat-tricks
Michael Owen burst onto the scene in 1996, his raw speed and natural finishing ability earmarking him as England’s finest striker in years. He won the Ballon d’Or in 2001 after winning five cup competitions with Liverpool.
Injuries took their toll and his career was not what it might have been, however. After returning from Real Madrid, for whom he signed in 2004, Owen joined Newcastle united and then had a surprise spell with Manchester United where he won his only Premier League title. He finished his career with Stoke City.
Thierry Henry – 8 Hat-tricks
Henry is widely regarded as the finest player ever to kick a ball in the Premier League. Several of his eight hat-tricks in the division came from the wing, making his goalscoring exploits even more remarkable.
His first came in 2000 in Arsenal’s 6-1 win against Leicester City. He had to wait another three years for his next treble (though it was a perfect hat-trick) against West Ham.
In April of 2004, he scored hat-tricks in consecutive Premier League games for the first time. He would score four more in his time before moving to Barcelona in 2007.
Robbie Fowler – 9 Hat-tricks
Fowler was a menace in his day, scoring 163 Premier League goals in total. Eight of his nine hat-tricks came for his boyhood club, Liverpool. His first treble came in 1993 in his maiden season as a professional.
He also scored a single hat-trick for Leeds United in December 2001, making him one of only a handful of players to score hat-tricks for two different Premier League clubs.
Alan Shearer – 11 Hat-tricks
As the Premier League’s runaway record goalscorer, it’s no surprise to see the incomparable Alan Shearer near the top of this list. He scored nine hat-tricks for Blackburn Rovers and two for Newcastle United.
Five of his hat-tricks came in a remarkable season in 1995-96. But it was the previous campaign for which he is best-remembered as his Blackburn Rovers side won the Premier League title, the only silverware of Shearer’s career.
Sergio Aguero – 12 Hat-tricks
Still active in the Premier League, there is every chance that Sergio Aguero could extend his lead at the top of this chart before his time in the division is done.
The first of 12 hat-tricks came in his first season in a 3-0 win against Wigan Athletic. Since then, Aguero has scored trebles against Tottenham, Queen’s Park Rangers, Newcastle United (x2), Chelsea (x2), Watford, Leicester City, Huddersfield Town, Arsenal and Aston Villa.
He is currently the division’s 4th all-time top scorer and could well climb that chart too.
Who Has Scored the Most Hat-tricks in a Premier League Season?
Alan Shearer scored five hat-tricks in the 1995-96 Premier League campaign. Playing in Blackburn Rovers colours, Shearer’s club wasn’t enjoying the most fruitful of campaigns – they slipped from top spot the previous season all the way down to 7th.
But Shearer himself was electric, scoring 31 goals in total. His five hat-tricks came against Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.
5 Fastest Premier League Hat-tricks
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United, 2015-16
No one has scored more Premier League hat-tricks than Sergio Aguero, and it’s therefore little surprise to see him crop up in this list.
He is also one of just five players to score five times in a single match. He did so in a 6-1 demolition of Newcastle United.
Eventually, all of his goals came within 20 minutes of each other. The first came to level the scores just before half-time. He headed home from barely a yard out – a typical poacher’s goal.
For his second, the Argentine danced past a Newcastle defender before his deflected shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net.
The hat-trick was complete a moment later as he dissected the Newcastle backline and found himself through on goal, lobbing the Newcastle keeper and wheeling away in celebration.
He scored again in the 60th minute and another in the 62nd. In terms of individual performances, this is one of the best the Premier League has seen.
Gabriel Agbonlahor – Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City, 2008-09 (69′, 74′, 76′)
Gabby Agbonlahor’s hat-trick came against Manchester City before their salubrious rise to the top of the European game. In fact, it was Villa who were consistently knocking on the door of the top four at this stage.
Agbonlahor, who won three caps for England, scored his first to put Villa back in the lead after the visitors had equalised from the spot. A corner was swung in and he capitalised on the knock-down to smash the ball home.
A few minutes later and Agbonlahor put Villa further ahead, nodding home after a cunning near-post run was found by a Gareth Barry cross.
He completed his treble two minutes after, with Barry again the assister. Agbonlahor did brilliantly to get back onside and in behind the City defence. He was one on one with the goalkeeper and calmly slotted home.
Jermain Defoe – Tottenham Hotspur 9-1 Wigan, 2009-10 (51′, 54′, 58′)
Tottenham’s 9-1 victory over Wigan Athletic in 2009 broke or equalled all kinds of records. And Jermain Defoe took centre stage. He scored 18 goals that campaign, the best return of his career. Five of them came in this match.
His first was a classic Defoe goal. He stole in at the near post, latching on to a brilliant lacerating cross and fired home.
His second came just three minutes later. He got on the end of a brilliant through-ball, advanced into the area and hit a shot from a tight angle that beat the keeper at his far post.
Four minutes later and the hat-trick was complete, even if the demolition job wasn’t. Defoe again lost his man inside the area and scored a poacher’s goal after an Aaron Lennon cut-back.
Robbie Fowler – Liverpool 3-0 Arsenal, 1994-95 (26′, 29′, 31′)
Liverpool were a phenomenally exciting side in the early to mid-90s. Arguably the jewel in the crown was Robbie Fowler, a young man so prolific in front of goal that Scousers called him “God.”
His career arguably peaked on one Sunday afternoon in August 1994, as Arsenal fell 3-0 to his brilliance.
Fowler stabbed home his first just after the 25-minute mark, the ball falling to him six yards out after Arsenal failed to clear a far-post cross.
His second came two minutes later and was probably the pick of the bunch. Steve McManaman carried the ball at the retreating Arsenal backline and Robbie Fowler peeled away from his mark, asking for the ball to his feet. He received it and made a contortionist-like movement to be able to make space for the shot, firing across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. A brilliant finish.
His third was impressive too, although more for sheer determination rather than skill.
Fowler made another cunning run, ran onto goal, attempted to dink the goalkeeper but fired straight at him. He got a second go, however, and this time he managed to improve his angle and fire home. It was a hat-trick in four minutes, and he must have thought it was a record that would never be broken…
Sadio Mane – Southampton 6-1 Aston Villa, 2014-15 (12′, 13′, 15′)
12:19, 13:44, 15:16. Those were the timestamps for each of Sadio Mane’s three goals for Southampton on the penultimate day of the Premier League season against Aston Villa. The Mali international later described it has his “best moment in football.”
Mane has since joined Liverpool and won both the Champions League and Premier League, so this moment might have sunk somewhat in terms of his overall ranking. But in terms of the balminess of the situation, it will live long in his and everyone else’s memory.
The score was 0-0 in the 12th minute when Mane capitalised on a fortuitous ricochet, rounded Shay Given in the Aston Villa net, and poked home his first of the afternoon.
Barely a minute later, Given lost out in a 50-50 to Shane Long, allowing Mane to burst onto the ball and thwack into an empty net. Two goals within less than two minutes of each other.
If his first two had an element of serendipity to them, the same could not be said about the third. Southampton swept forward after Villa lost the ball from the kick-off. Dusan Tadic played a low ball across the box and Sadio Mane rifled the ball into the top corner from just inside the area. A brilliant strike. It left the fans in St Mary’s rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
It’s hard to see how this record could ever conceivably be broken. Even if you spent absolutely no time mucking about celebrating, you’d still struggle to fashion three chances in the same amount of time as Sadio Mane did.
Perfect Hat-tricks in the Premier League
A perfect hat-trick consists of one goal scored with the left foot, one goal scored with the right foot, and one goal scored with the head. It is a rare feat; only 33 of them have ever been scored in English Premier League history.
The first instance of a perfect hat-trick in the Premier League came in 1992 when Mark Robins scored a magnificent treble for high-flying Norwich City against Oldham Athletic in a 3-2 win.
Only three players in the history of the division have scored multiple perfect hat-tricks. Sergio Aguero scored two, both against Newcastle United in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Yakubu also netted two perfect hat-tricks, one against Fulham in 2007 and one against 2011.
Robbie Fowler is the undisputed king of the perfect hat-trick, however. He scored three, two against Southampton in 1993 and 1999, and one against Arsenal in 1995.
Below is a list of every perfect Premier League hat-trick, starting with Robins’ in 1992.
List of Perfect Hat-Tricks in the Premier League
1. Mark Robins vs Oldham Athletic (1992)
2. Efan Ekoku vs Everton (1993)
3. Robbie Fowler vs Southampton (1993)
4. Matthew Le Tissier vs Norwich City (1994)
5. Chris Sutton vs Coventry City (1994)
6. Tommy Johnson vs Wimbledon (1995)
7. Andy Cole vs Ipswich Town (1995)
8. Robbie Fowler vs Arsenal (1995)
9. Gianluca Vialli vs Barnsley (1997)
10. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Everton (1999)
11. Robbie Fowler vs Southampton (1999)
12. Emile Heskey vs Derby County (2000)
13. Les Ferdinand vs Leicester City (2000)
14. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink vs Tottenham Hotspur (2002)
15. Thierry Henry vs West Ham United (2003)
16. Peter Crouch vs Arsenal (2007)
17. Yakubu vs Fulham (2007), Swansea City (2011)
18. Mikael Forssell vs Tottenham Hotspur (2008)
19. Gabriel Agbonlahor vs Manchester City (2008)
20. Emmanuel Adebayor vs Blackburn Rovers (2008)
21. Salomon Kalou vs Stoke City (2010)
22. Didier Drogba vs Wigan Athletic (2010
23. Louis Saha vs Blackpool (2011)
24. Edin Dzeko vs Tottenham Hotspur (2011)
25. Demba Ba vs Stoke City (2011)
26. Pavel Pogrebnyak vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (2012)
27. Jordi Gomez vs Reading (2012)
28. Kevin Nolan vs Reading (2013)
29. Romelu Lukaku vs Manchester United (2013)
30. Jonathan Walters vs Queens Park Rangers (2015)
31. Steven Naismith vs Chelsea (2015)
32. Sergio Aguero vs Newcastle United (2015), (2018)
33. Christian Pulisic vs Burnley (2019)