It was the Kevin De Bruyne show on May 11, 2022 as the Belgian scored four goals to help Manchester City beat Wolves 5-1.
Pep Guardiola’s side went into that evening game level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table but knew a win would keep them in firm control of the Premier League title race which they ultimately won.
And if any fans were worried before the game (especially given Man City’s record against Wolves), De Bruyne was quick to allay fears. The Belgian opened the scoring after seven minutes and added his second on the 16th minute, five after Leander Dendoncker had equalised for the hosts.
Another eight minutes later and De Bruyne’s hat-trick was complete, just 24 minutes into the game. But was De Bruyne’s trio the fastest ever in Premier League history?
Was it the earliest to happen? That is to say, did De Bruyne hit his treble in the shortest amount of time from kick-off to third goal than any other hat-trick scorer since 1992? We’ve dove into the data with Opta to find out who was quickest to fire!
ON THIS DAY: In 2001, Manchester United beat Arsenal 6-1 in the Premier League.
The Red Devils scored five goals in the first half with Dwight Yorke scoring a hat-trick in the opening 22 minutes of the game. 😳 pic.twitter.com/4dej21fLbC
— Squawka (@Squawka) February 25, 2020
10. Michael Owen
LIVERPOOL 3-1 Aston Villa
6 September, 2000
Michael Owen was a young prodigy when he tore Aston Villa to bits in the opening half-hour at Anfield. No defender could live with him that day and the fact that he scored a header from a corner probably best exemplified this.
9. Michael Owen
Newcastle 1-4 LIVERPOOL
30 August, 1998
Michael Owen was an even younger prodigy when he cut Newcastle to bits away at St. James’ Park. The 18-year-old showed no fear at all, with his third goal serving as the pick of the bunch as he skinned the defence and flicked the ball home. His hand-rubbing celebration is now legendary, but the speed he showed was truly awe-inspiring.
PORTSMOUTH 5-1 Middlesbrough
15 May, 2004
When he was fully in rhythm, Yakubu was a force of nature. Never was that force more fully felt than when he smashed four goals past Middlesbrough back in 2004. The first three of his goals took just over half-an-hour as he steamrollered through the defence before finishing with pinpoint accuracy and precision.
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7. Robbie Fowler
LIVERPOOL 4-3 Arsenal
28 August, 1994
For a while, this was the Premier League hat-trick. With just four minutes and 33 seconds between the first and third goals, it held the title of quickest hat-trick (within a game rather than from kick-off to the third goal) for over a decade. What is less discussed about the hat-trick is that he ripped it off in the first 30 minutes and 31 seconds of their seven goal thriller against Arsenal.
6. Andrew Cole
NEWCASTLE 3-0 Liverpool
21 November, 1993
Before Andrew Cole joined Man Utd he was first a hot-shot with Newcastle. Back in 1993 he single-handedly guided the Magpies to a dominant win over Liverpool by blasting a remarkable hat-trick where he touched the ball three times, once for each goal.
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5. Ian Marshall
LEICESTER 4-2 Derby
22 February, 1997
Leicester went 0-1 down to Derby back in early 1997. Then veteran striker Ian Marshall, who had just two goals all season previously, unleashed his full potential on the Rams. Marshall equalised with a stunning volley, capitalised on a huge goalkeeping error to give Leicester the lead and then put the Foxes out of sight with a clipped left-foot finish in full stride. All before the game was 27 minutes old.
4. Jermaine Pennant
ARSENAL 6-1 Southampton
7 May 2003
Having just conceded the title to Man Utd, Arsenal were embarrassed and very much took it out on poor Southampton. With 23 minutes on the clock Robert Pires and Premier League debutant Jermaine Pennant both had two goals. Then three minutes later the Gunners put together a breathtaking move that began with Pires deep in his own half and ended with Thierry Henry feeding Pennant to smash home an incredible 26 minute hat-trick, on his debut! A sensational showing (and Pires completed his own hat-trick later).
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3. Kevin De Bruyne
Only three centre-midfielders have scored 4 goals in a single Premier League game:
◎ Frank Lampard (2008 & 2010)
◎ Georginio Wijnaldum (2015)
◉ Kevin De Bruyne (2022)
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 11, 2022
Wolves 1-5 MANCHESTER CITY
11 May, 2022
Man City went to Molineux knowing they had to win to stay three points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League title race and they had been in good goalscoring form, scoring five goals against Newcastle United the weekend prior. There were another five goals for Man City at Wolves, four of which were scored against De Bruyne. The Belgian gave Man City an early lead and restored it after Dendoncker’s equaliser. His hat-trick was complete with a rocket into the bottom corner, with all three of his goals scored on his weaker left foot. And he wasn’t done there, adding a fourth in the second half – boosting Man City’s goal difference.
2. Dwight Yorke
MANCHESTER UNITED 6-1 Arsenal
25 February, 2001
Manchester United utterly demolished Arsenal back in 2001. The gap between the pair was already 13 points, but no one expected Old Trafford to be as much of a bloodbath as it was. Yorke gave United the lead after just two minutes. Arsenal equalised on 14 minutes but just three minutes later, Yorke returned the lead to Old Trafford. David Beckham then cut the Arsenal defence apart and Yorke sealed a remarkable 22 minute hat-trick that buried Arsenal and extended United’s lead to a whopping 16 points.
1. Sadio Mané
SOUTHAMPTON 6-1 Aston Villa
16 May, 2015
Yorke was fast, and he held the record of fastest hat-trick for 14 years – but records are made to be broken. Before Sadio Mané joined Liverpool he starred for Southampton, and at the end of his debut season in England he let rip with a ridiculous hat-trick against Aston Villa (again!) that not only took place in the opening 16 minutes of the match, but also took him just two minutes 56 seconds to complete!
Mané opened the scoring with a scrappy effort, showing his persistence to almost stumble through the Villa defence and stab home. His second showed off his searing pace as he raced onto a loose ball in the penalty area to tap home after Shay Given spilled the ball.
The third, which again, came not even three minutes after the first, was a perfect example of Mané’s stunning shooting ability as he planted one top bins from 20 yards. A ridiculous hat-trick.