Wouldn’t it be great if Opta Joe were a real person, sitting one bar stool over, nibbling pretzels while nonchalantly spitting out these useful and relevant EPL factoids – all while you ordered up the next round of cold, cold Harp lagers?
Either way, thanks Opta Joe.
Via Twitter, our reliable, fact-churning pal has added some context to Robin van Persie’s latest hat trick.
Manchester United’s fabulous Dutch striker delivered the goods early in the Red Devils’ history-making achievement Monday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s group put a highly official bow on United’s 20th league championship in England’s highest tier.
Yes, these plates full of marksmanship may have come with just a shallow side dish of “offside.” But let’s not get distracted. A hat trick? In just over 30 minutes? On such a big occasion? And one that includes this hammer blow of a strike?
Are you kidding me?
Opta Joe tells us that van Persie’s second three-goal treat this year has pulled the Dutchman alongside Andy Cole, Dimitar Berbatov, Ian Wright and fellow Dutchman (who also played at Manchester United) Ruud van Nistelrooy for careers hat tricks.
Man U’s man of the moment still has some ground to make up. Again, from Opta Joe, here are the men he will continue to chase for all-time Premiership hat trick leadership.
- Alan Shearer, 11
- Robbie Fowler, 9
- Michael Owen, 8
- Thierry Henry, 8
- Wayne Rooney, 6