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Liverpool FC: Dirk Kuyt, Robbie Fowler and 10 Great Reds Hat Tricks

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2012

Liverpool FC: Dirk Kuyt, Robbie Fowler and 10 Great Reds Hat Tricks

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    Any kind of a goal that a player scores for Liverpool is a wondrous thing for supporters of the Reds, but nothing beats that feeling of watching one of your favourite players net a hat trick. With that in mind, here's a list of 10 great hat tricks scored by Liverpool players since the inception of the Premier League.

    From your usual No. 9 superstar striker like Robbie Fowler who scores hat tricks as often as other players tie up their bootlaces, to the Kop idol who scores the odd goal before finally hitting a hat trick in the most incredible circumstances—like current player Dirk Kuyt, who netted his first Reds hat trick at Anfield against Manchester United—Liverpool have been blessed with many players able to score a treble in the same game.

    And it would really help out at the moment if one of the current crop managed it this month.

    Feel free to add your own in below.

Dirk Kuyt vs. Manchester United, Anfield, 2010-11

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    Well, we all remember this one so we might as well see it first.

    Kenny Dalglish had only recently taken over as Liverpool manager for the second time. The Reds faced their archrivals Manchester United at Anfield, having seen the Red Devils knock them out of the FA Cup on the King's return a month prior.

    Dirk Kuyt got the three goals for Liverpool in a 3-1 win, but the game was all about the introduction of Luis Suarez to the Premier League in general.

    A winding solo run from the Uruguayan left Kuyt a tap-in to score the first, a Suarez cross was headed back towards his own goal by Nani for a simple Dirk header for two-nil, before the Dutchman pounced from close range again for the treble after a Suarez free kick was only parried by Edwin van der Sar.

    Only a late consolation from the visitors was nowhere near enough to stop a rampant Reds side.

    This is Dirk Kuyt's only Liverpool hat trick to date.

Robbie Fowler vs. Arsenal, Anfield, 1993-94

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    The quickest hat trick on record scored in the Premier League came from the talented feet of Robbie Fowler for Liverpool against Arsenal, at Anfield.

    Opening the scoring with a typical poacher's goal, Fowler pounced to fire in from close range after Ian Rush had brought down a free kick inside the penalty area.

    Less than three minutes later, Fowler had doubled his tally, picking up the ball after a Steve McManaman run before firing through the legs of defender Lee Dixon into the far corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance.

    Four minutes and 23 seconds after hitting his first, Fowler incredibly had a hat trick.

    Running onto a John Barnes through-ball, Fowler scampered away from a defender before seeing his initial shot parried by David Seaman, but "God" showed great footwork to pick the ball up again on his left foot and fire home from a narrow angle with his right.

    Magnificent.

Patrik Berger vs. Chelsea, Anfield, 1997-98

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    Patrik Berger announced his arrival to Liverpool and the Premier League with a series of strikes early on in his Reds career. He got the crowd going every time he wound back that talented left foot of his.

    Shortly into his second season on Merseyside, Berger struck a hat trick against Chelsea, helping the Reds to a 4-2 victory.

    Start watching the video at 1:25 for the hat trick which features a glorious lob, a rare right-footed finish and a third goal scored after taking it around the keeper—or simply watch from the beginning for a stupendous selection of strikes from "Paddy."

Maxi Rodriguez vs. Fulham, Craven Cottage, 2010-11

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    One of Liverpool's finest performances after the reintroduction of Kenny Dalglish as manager was the 5-2 drubbing of Fulham at Craven Cottage, at the back end of the 2010-11 Premier League season.

    The Reds got off to a flyer thanks to Maxi's first-minute strike, which he powered in after Mark Schwarzer had only half-cleared a Luis Suarez cross.

    Great technique was needed for the second, as Maxi diverted a cross from the right back across goal with a fine left-footed volley.

    The Argentine winger was involved in the build up for the next goal, which Dirk Kuyt dispatched before Maxi scored a real cracker to seal his hat trick.

    Picking the ball up 30 yards from goal, his attempted first-time pass was rebounded back to him off the defender. A quick change of pace and direction gave Maxi a sight of goal and he didn't hesitate, letting fly with a rocket which ended up in the top corner—remarkably giving him a second hat trick in three games, and seven goals in three overall.

    The game was rounded off by goals from Suarez and Steve Sidwell of Fulham, but the night belonged—again—to Maxi Rodriguez.

Michael Owen vs Manchester City, Maine Road, 2002-03

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    If ever anybody was wanting to put together a classic set of Michael Owen strikes, this hat trick against Manchester City was it.

    Fresh off the back of a barren run in front of goal, with the usual suspects starting to doubt his scoring credentials, Mikey Owen delivered master-class finishing away from home to score all the game's goals and hand Liverpool three points.

    A sharp swivel and finish from close range, a lightning break from deep after a through-ball from Steven Gerrard and a quick dribble, committing the defender before stepping away to shoot—exactly the types of goals Liverpool relied on Owen to score for so long.

    This was the eighth of 10 trebles that Owen scored for Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard vs. Napoli, Anfield, 2010-11

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    Trailing at the halftime break by an Ezequiel Lavezzi goal to nil and lacking in ideas and inspiration, Liverpool looked to be heading to a home defeat in the Europa League against Italian side Napoli.

    Boss Roy Hodgson made the decision to bring on rested captain Steven Gerrard at the break—and he let nobody down, turning the game on its head and giving Liverpool the impetus and belief to go on and win the game.

    Even with the improved second-half performance, it still took a mammoth effort and a brilliant Gerrard hat trick for the Reds to emerge triumphant.

    The first was all about desire—Gerrard simply wanted it more. The keeper, according to Gerrard himself, "didn't fancy it," and the Reds midfielder made the challenge his own, rebounding the ball into the net.

    Nerves of steel from the penalty spot after Glen Johnson was brought down put the Reds ahead, before a clinical edge, composure and technique combined for his hat trick after Lucas Leiva sent him through on goal.

    A wonderful hat trick from a wonderful player.

Peter Crouch vs. Arsenal, Anfield, 2006-07

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    The "perfect hat trick" is often talked about as being a goal scored with the right foot, another with the left foot and one with the head.

    Peter Crouch managed the feat against Arsenal in a 4-1 victory at Anfield in the Premier League with a trio of brilliantly-taken goals.

    His first arrived courtesy of some magnificent wing play between Alvaro Arbeloa and Jermaine Pennant, who, with a pair of back-heels between them, contrived to set Crouch up to divert home at the near post—right foot.

    A deep cross from the left by Fabio Aurelio found Crouch lurking in the middle of the penalty area and, though he was surrounded by defenders, managed to glance home into the far top corner—header.

    Daniel Agger headed a third for the Reds before William Gallas made it 3-1.

    Crouch had saved the best for last though, collecting a cross from the right side before controlling, flicking it through his own legs, swiveling and firing home high and central—left foot.

    Great victory, great hat trick.

Robbie Fowler vs. Fulham, Anfield, 1993-94

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    Making your way early on in your career as a young player in the professional game can leave some players writhing with nerves, unable to play their normal game which had gotten them to that point in the first place. It can even damage the confidence of a young lad so badly they never reach the heights they were capable of.

    Not Robbie Fowler.

    A debut goal against Fulham was followed up a week or two later with not just a hat trick, but a fantastic five goals in a single game.

    Not a bad way to introduce yourself to the fans.

    Left foot, left foot, right foot, header, right foot...there's another perfect hat trick in there somewhere.

Fernando Torres vs. Middlesbrough, Anfield, 2007-08

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    I was debating for some time whether to include Fernando Torres' treble against Middlesbrough or against West Ham United—but this one just pips it for me.

    Some typical Torres finishing and movement helped the Reds to a 3-2 home win over 'Boro, having gone behind 1-0 initially.

    The equaliser came as a result of Torres anticipating a back-header which never looked like reaching the goalkeeper, who he raced towards and around before finishing at the near post.

    A firecracker second came from 20 yards as Torres picked up the ball, turned and blasted it inside the post, giving Mark Schwarzer no chance.

    The treble was clocked up as Torres again took advantage of defensive indecision as neither goalkeeper nor defender dealt with the ball, allowing 'Nando to nip in and slide home for 3-1.

    This was Torres' first Premier League hat trick, and his second duly arrived in the very next home match, against the Hammers.

Yossi Benayoun vs. Besiktas, Anfield, 2007-08

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    Needing a win to keep their dreams alive of qualifying from the group stages of the Champions League, Liverpool came up against Besiktas at Anfield, who had earlier in the round beaten the Reds in Turkey.

    The away side believed they could get a result to boost their own chances of going through, but there was a resilience, quality and clinical edge about Liverpool which saw them not just win with a hat-trick being scored, but win in a manner so unforgiving and ruthless that they racked up the biggest ever win in Champions League history.

    8-0.

    Peter Crouch opened the scoring to set Liverpool on their way and added a second late on, with Ryan Babel also scoring twice and Steven Gerrard getting another—but Yossi Benayoun stole the show with a well-taken hat trick.

    His first came after good control inside the box allowed him to flash a shot past the standing keeper into the bottom corner to put the Reds two goals ahead.

    After the break, Yossi made it three, tapping home from close range after a John Arne Riise shot was only parried, and did the same from a Steven Gerrard free-kick effort soon after for the hat trick.

    Benayoun even got in on the act on the assists front, setting up late efforts from Babel and Crouch.

    Not the most spectacular hat trick you'll ever witness, but certainly one of the most spectacular results and settings in which to get it.

    *Unless you happen to be a fan of bizarre Turkish music, I recommend lowering the sound significantly for this video. As in, turning it off completely.

Honourable Mentions

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    There were several other candidates for the list which bear mentioning but did not quite make it for one reason or another.

    The most notable for me were Milan Baros' treble against Crystal Palace, two of which came from the penalty spot; Michael Owen's hat trick against Newcastle United and Fernando Torres' first hat trick for Liverpool which came against Reading in the League Cup after they had bullied and kicked him all game long.

    Another from Owen came against Nottingham Forest, when he scored four goals after being rested for the previous match with joint-managers Gerard Houllier and Roy Evans claiming he was tired...not so, apparently.

    Robbie Fowler's last of his 10 Reds hat tricks, scored against Leicester City, will also live long in the memory.

    Feel free comment below about your favourites from this list, and which other trebles should have been included.

    Thanks for reading.

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