Seeking Perfection! The Tiny Group of Players to Have Scored the 'Ultimate' Premier League Hat-Trick

The perfect hat-trick is a rare beast; to date, across the best part of 25 years of Premier League football, there have been just over 30 (accounts vary - Martin Tyler says 31, the Mail claim 33) occasions of a player netting with his left foot, right foot and head in the same match. The notion of a German hat-trick, though, tilts the playing field a little. In Germany, a player's three goals must come in the same half; with no other goals from either team separating them. If your team...

Tommy Johnson vs Wimbledon, 11/02/95

Just a month after joining a top flight club for the first time, Tommy Johnson banged in his first, second and third ever Premier League goals for Aston Villa against Wimbledon to take his side from a precarious 1-1 in the 22nd minute to a commanding 4-1 by the 38th. 

Dean Saunders and Dwight Yorke rounded off the scoring in a dominant 7-1 win, although Johnson never reached their heights in the international game - mostly nipping around various Scottish and lower league clubs after he left Villa Park in 1997. 

Gianluca Vialli vs Barnsley, 24/08/97

Now, here. Here is a big name. 

After Dan Petrescu and Gus Poyet put Chelsea 2-0 up in the early stages against Barnsley at Oakwell in 1997, Gianluca Vialli started to rev up - poking home just before half-time to give his side a three goal lead. 

In the second half, he exploded. Going head/right foot/left foot in one 25-minute spell in the second half, the Italian crushed Barnsley into the dust to become just the second man to score a perfect German hat-trick in the Premier League. 

Yakubu vs Fulham, 08/12/07

The third 'ultimate' hat-trick - the hat-trick of hat-tricks, if you will - was a while coming. More than a full decade after Vialli achieved the feat, it was another man in blue who followed in his footsteps - Yakubu single-handedly dismantling Fulham for Everton. 

While Johnson and Vialli scored their trebles in blowout wins, Yakubu's was the entire story of the game; start, beginning and end as he scored in the 51st, 61st and 79th minutes to secure a 3-0 Toffees win at Goodison Park - the only man to score a perfect German hat-trick with the game's only goals. 

He's also one of only two men to score more than one perfect hat-trick in the Premier League - with Robbie Fowler (3) - the other coming in a 4-2 Blackburn win over Swansea. The Nigerian actually scored all of his side's goals that day too; two in the first half separated by a Leroy Lita strike, and two in the second which were split by Swans substitute Luke Moore. 

Gabby Agbonlahor vs Manchester City, 17/08/08

Bit like London buses, these ultimate hat-tricks came rushing in (well, relatively speaking) after a long wait. Less than a year after Yakubu's match-winning performance, Gabby Agbonlahor decided to act like a real footballer and score some goals. 

Going right foot, head, left foot in the space of just seven second-half minutes, the England international took the score from 1-1 to 4-1 in Aston Villa's first league game of the season, after John Carew and Elano had exchanged goals earlier in the fixture. 

Didier Drogba vs Wigan, 09/05/10

Does a perfect German hat-trick count if you score it to take your side from 4-0 to 7-0 up over a 10-man Wigan side? Well, yes, but you have to feel a bit dirty about it afterwards. 

Didier Drogba's 17-minute effort remains the most recent 'ultimate' Premier League hat-trick, and the only to include a penalty, in the game which confirmed the Blues as English champions in the 2009/10 season. 

NEAR MISS: Efan Ekoku vs Everton, 25/09/93

Efan Ekoku was close. Efan Ekoku was SO close. The Nigeria international became the first player to score four goals in a Premier League game when he dismantled Everton in 1993 - his first three forming a perfect hat-trick (in order: right foot, head, left foot).

That first goal came just before half-time though, so although he hit a perfect hat-trick and a German hat-trick in the same game, the order of his second half goals (head, left foot, left foot) means that he's the only man to score non-synchronous perfect and German hat-tricks in the same match. 

He remains, no doubt, devastated. 

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