Dirk Kuyt

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Premier League On this Day: Arshavin struts in 8-goal thriller

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Do you remember where you were when Andrei Arshavin scored 13 percent of his Arsenal goals to crush Liverpool’s title hopes?

The Gunners and Reds drew 4-4 at Anfield on this day in 2009, with seven of eight goals coming in a wild second half.

The draw was the only time that Rafa Benitez’s Reds dropped points in their last 11 matches of the 2008/09 season, finishing four points back of a Manchester United side.

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Liverpool’s defense had been one of the strongest in the Premier League, but was no match for Arshavin. The Reds allowed 27 goals in league play that season.

Arshavin scored in the 39th minute before Dirk Kuyt set up goals from Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun within the first 11 minutes after halftime. He’d strike in the 67th and 70th minutes to restore Arsenal’s lead, the former tally an aesthetically-pleasing rocket inside the far post.

Torres struck again in the 72nd, and it looked destined for a 3-3 finish before Arshavin struck in the 90th minute. Benayoun had other ideas in stoppage time, and the spoils were split.

Arshavin would add a goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat of Liverpool at Anfield the following season, but this day is the one that haunts the Reds.

Dirk Kuyt unretires to help boyhood club battle for promotion

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Dirk Kuyt has one more run-in left in the tank.

The Dutch superstar has returned to the field to help his boyhood club Quick Boys earn promotion from the Derde Divisie, the Dutch fourth tier. Quick Boys sits second in the Derde Divisie table, five points back of leaders SV Spakenburg. The top spot earns automatic promotion, with the next four places qualifying for the playoff.

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Kuyt first joined Quick Boys as a six-year-old in 1986, working his way through the club’s youth system and earning his professional debut in 1998 before moving to FC Utrecht as an 18-year-old. Now at 37 years old, Kuyt retired this past summer after winning the Eredivisie title with Feyenoord.

Kuyt was already an assistant with Quick Boys, and has made his mark. The club dismissed a striker after the two argued in a league match back in mid-March, in which the striker bailed on the game at halftime.

The news comes less than 24 hours after Kuyt was unveiled as the U-19 manager in Feyenoord’s youth system.

Dirk Kuyt retires after winning Dutch league with Feyenoord

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Dirk Kuyt, the veteran captain of Feyenoord who led his team to its first Dutch league title in 18 years, is retiring.

Feyenoord says the 36-year-old Kuyt, who returned to Rotterdam two years ago saying he wanted to win the league, told coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst of his decision Wednesday.

Kuyt’s 19 seasons as a professional player started at Utrecht before going to Feyenoord. He then moved to Liverpool, Fenerbahce and back to Feyenoord.

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Kuyt also played 104 internationals for the Netherlands, including the World Cup final in 2010, when the Netherlands lost to Spain in extra time.

Technical director Martin van Geel says “we are unbelievably grateful to Dirk for what he has meant to Feyenoord for the last two years.”

Captain Kuyt leads Feyenoord to Dutch league title

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Veteran captain Dirk Kuyt scored a hat trick Sunday as Feyenoord beat Heracles Almelo 3-1 to win its 15th Dutch Eredivisie title and the first in 18 long years for its fervent fans.

Kuyt, 36, who returned to Feyenoord in the twilight of his career saying he wanted to lead the team to the Dutch championship, scored his 100th goal for the club in the first minute to settle nerves throughout Rotterdam. He doubled the lead in the 12th, then put the result beyond doubt with a penalty kick shortly before the end.

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Thousands of fans in the city center watched on large screens and roared in delight after Kuyt’s early opener and again 11 minutes later. The party truly began across the port city when Kuyt grabbed his third.

Dirk Kuyt nets first half hat-trick in Eredivisie play

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Feyenoord thrashed Heerenveen Sunday in Eredivisie play, up 5-0 at halftime to cruise to a 5-2 win.

At the center of it was 35-year-old Dirk Kuyt.

The former Liverpool veteran netted three times in the first half, a hat-trick that sent him to seven goals through the season’s first 10 matches, just one shy of the league’s top goalscorer Anwar El-Ghazi of Ajax.

His first came as Simon Gustafsson burst through the middle and teed up Kuyt on the top right corner of the box, and the winger buried home the opener just seven minutes in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-04XtlihjA

Kuyt would get his second in the 32nd minute with Feyenoord already 3-0 up when he pinged home a deflected shot from almost exactly the same spot as his first, teed up by another former Premier League player Eljero Elia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=32&v=4BLYAeYAjGs

Finally, Kuyt would complete his hat-trick in the 39th minute to give Feyenoord a 5-0 lead.

At 35 years old, Kuyt has played every minute for Feyenoord so far this season in Eredivisie play, having lost just once in 10 matches so far. Today’s win brought the club level with Ajax at the top of the league table on 22 points.