This week our statistician Josh James takes a look at Arsenal's hat-tricks.

Robin van Persie's hat-trick on Saturday was the 226th scored in the history of the Club, and the 33rd under Arsène Wenger.

It was Van Persie's third treble for the Club (all scored since January last year), and he is one of 97 players to claim the match ball in an Arsenal shirt.

It was also the seventh hat-trick scored at Emirates Stadium; others were notched by Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Vela, Nicklas Bendtner (2) and Theo Walcott.

Those have come at a rate of one every 23.3 games, which is very similar to the Club's overall hat-trick rate of one every 22.9 games throughout history.

The first senior hat-trick scored at the Emirates was Adebayor's against Derby County on September 22, 2007, in a 5-0 Premier League win. However, Jay Simpson had actually achieved the feat prior to that in an FA Youth Cup game - in February 2007 - when Arsenal beat Aaron Ramsey's Cardiff City 3-2.

Arsenal have never conceded a hat-trick at Emirates Stadium. In fact, the last opponent to score three away to Arsenal was Mick Quinn for Coventry City in an opening day 3-0 win at Highbury in 1993/94 – some 368 home matches ago.

During that time, Arsenal have scored 14 hat-tricks of their own on the road.

The most recent was at Chelsea in October, scored by Van Persie. The Dutchman, now 10th top scorer in the Club's history with 123 goals, still has a long way to go to claim his place among the Club's all-time hat-trick hitters. Jack Lambert (Arsenal 1926-1933) and Jimmy Brain (1923-1931) scored the most trebles for the Gunners - 12 each, followed closely by Ted Drake (1934-1945) and Ian Wright (1991-1998), who each scored 11.

Lambert's trios came at an incredible rate of one every 13.4 games, including seven in the 1930/31 season alone. It's clear, though, that hat-tricks were more plentiful during the pre-war era. In the last 50 seasons Arsenal have netted 82 hat-tricks, compared to 122 in the 50 seasons preceding that. That makes Ian Wright's rate of a hat-trick every 26.2 games in the modern era even more impressive.

Looking at all 25 players who have scored three or more hat-tricks for the Club, the man with the best games/hat-tricks ratio is Henry (Harry) King, who scored one every 9.75 matches. In fact, in 1914, he scored the first ever hat-trick at Highbury, meaning Henry King claimed the first match ball there, and King (Thierry) Henry the last (v Wigan on May 7, 2006).

That first Highbury hat-trick came against Grimsby Town, who along with Middlesbrough and Leicester City (formerly Leicester Fosse), have been on the receiving end of the most Arsenal hat-tricks (10).

Arsenal hat-tricks
Player Hat-tricks Games per hat-trick
Jack Lambert 12 13.4
Jimmy Brain 12 19.3
Ted Drake 11 16.7
Ian Wright 11 26.2
Thierry Henry 8 46.9
David Herd 7 25.7
David Jack 7 29.7
Doug Lishman 7 34.9
John Radford 6 80.3
Ronnie Rooke 5 18.8
Joe Baker 5 70.2
Henry King 4 9.75
Tommy Shanks 4 11
Reg Lewis 4 44
Cliff Holton 4 54.3
Alan Smith 4 86.8
Joe Hulme 4 93.5
Cliff Bastin 4 99
Bob Turnbull 3 22
Malcolm Macdonald 3 36
Jackie Henderson 3 37
Emmanuel Adebayor 3 47.3
Tim Coleman 3 65.3
Robin van Persie 3 87
Alan Sunderland 3 93.7
Teams hat-tricks scored against
Grimsby Town 10
Leicester City/Fosse 10
Middlesbrough 10
Liverpool 9
Bolton Wanderers 8
Everton 8
Sheffield Wednesday 8
Blackburn Rovers 7
Sunderland 7
Blackpool 6
Manchester City 6

The vast majority of Arsenal's hat-tricks (85 per cent) have come in league matches. On average, the Gunners score a hat-trick once every 22.2 games in the league, compared to once every 23.2 in the League Cup and once every 24.6 FA Cup matches. Hat-tricks in European football are the most rare, occurring once every 38.8 fixtures.

Perhaps surprisingly, Arsenal have only scored one hat-trick in FA Cup football under Arsène Wenger – Nicklas Bendtner against Leyton Orient last season.

One of Arsenal's current players – Yossi Benayoun – is the only man who has scored hat-tricks in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup - though none of those were in Arsenal colours.

The 226 all-time hat-tricks include 34 instances when a player actually scored more than three in a game. This includes the five goals Tony Woodcock netted away to Villa in 1983 and the seven that Ted Drake famously bagged against the same opposition, also at Villa Park, in December 1935. Jack Lambert (at home to Sheffield United on December 24, 1932) was the only other player to score five in a game for the Gunners.

The most recent four-timer was achieved by Andrey Arshavin when he scored all four in a 4-4 draw at Liverpool on April 21, 2009. That was also the last example of Arsenal not winning a game in which they had scored a hat-trick. The last Arsenal player to score a hat-trick yet finish on the losing team Jimmy Brain, when Derby County beat Arsenal 4-3 at Highbury way back on February 4, 1928.

Behind The Numbers

Hat-tricks by competition
Games per hat-trick Overall Under Arsène Wenger
League 22.2 22.5
FA Cup 24.6 80
League Cup 23.2 18.7
Europe 38.8 52
Total 22.9 26.8

The 33 hat-tricks in the Arsène Wenger era have arrived once every 26.8 games, and were scored by 17 different players.

There have been 10 instances of two hat-tricks being scored in the same game (and one game that featured three Arsenal hat-tricks, in 1892). The most recent was May 7, 2003 when Robert Pires and Jermaine Pennant disputed the match ball in a 6-1 Premier League win over Southampton. That match, incidentally, kicked off the all-time 49 game unbeaten run.

Arsenal have won 30 of the 32 games in which they have scored hat-tricks under Arsène Wenger. The aggregate score from those matches is 147-31.
In 24 of the matches the hat-trick(s) have not been the only goals of the game for Arsenal, with the team going on to score six or more on eight occasions.

All hat-tricks under Arsène Wenger
Date Opposition Scorer Competition Score
Feb 4, 2012 Blackburn (h) Robin van Persie League 7-1
Oct 29, 2011 Chelsea (a) Robin van Persie League 5-3
Mar 2, 2011 Leyton Orient (h) Nicklas Bendtner FA Cup 5-0
Jan 22, 2011 Wigan (h) Robin van Persie League 3-0
Aug 21, 2010 Blackpool (h) Theo Walcott League 6-0
Mar 9, 2010 FC Porto (h) Nicklas Bendtner Champions League 5-0
Apr 21, 2009 Liverpool (a) Andrey Arshavin (4) League 4-4
Sept 23, 2008 Sheff Utd (h) Carlos Vela Carling Cup 6-0
Sept 13, 2008 Blackburn (a) Emmanuel Adebayor League 4-0
Apr 28, 2008 Derby (a) Emmanuel Adebayor League 6-2
Sept 22, 2007 Derby (h) Emmanuel Adebayor League 5-0
Jan 9, 2007 Liverpool (a) Julio Baptista (4)
Carling Cup 6-3
May 7, 2006 Wigan (h) Thierry Henry League 4-2
Jan 14, 2006 Middlesbrough (h) Thierry Henry League 7-0
Apr 2, 2005 Norwich (h) Thierry Henry League 4-1
Mar 5, 2005 Portsmouth (h) Thierry Henry League 3-0
Apr 16, 2004 Leeds (h) Thierry Henry (4)
League 5-0
Apr 9, 2004 Liverpool (h) Thierry Henry League 4-2
May 11, 2003 Sunderland (a) Freddie Ljungberg League 4-0
May 7, 2003 Southampton (h) Robert Pires, Jermaine Pennant League 6-1
Jan 19, 2003 West Ham (h) Thierry Henry League 3-1
Nov 27, 2002 Roma (a) Thierry Henry Champions League 3-1
Nov 5, 2001 Man Utd (h) Sylvain Wiltord Carling Cup 4-0
Mar 3, 2001 West Ham (h) Sylvain Wiltord League 3-0
Dec 26, 2000 Leicester (h) Thierry Henry League 6-1
Dec 9, 2000 Newcastle (h) Ray Parlour League 5-0
Mar 23, 2000 Werder Bremen (a) Ray Parlour UEFA Cup 4-2
Nov 20, 1999 Middlesbrough (h) Marc Overmars League 5-1
Oct 23,  1999 Chelsea (a) Nwankwo Kanu League 3-2
Feb 20, 1999 Leicester (h) Nicolas Anelka League 5-0
Sep 13, 1997 Bolton (h) Ian Wright League 4-1
Aug 27, 1997 Leicester (h) Dennis Bergkamp League 3-3

There were a few other notable stats to arise from Saturday's win over Blackburn.

The 7-1 scoreline was the biggest league win at Emirates Stadium, and the seventh time the team had scored six or more at the venue.

Thierry Henry's injury-time strike was his 228th for the Club, his ninth at Emirates Stadium, and the 350th goal overall the team has scored there. The milestone came in the 163rd Emirates fixture (average of 2.15 goals per game) and the goals were scored by 43 different players (excluding own goals).

Henry is also the oldest player to score for us in the league this season (at 34 years and 171 days), while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (18 years and 173 days) is the youngest. He is also our second-ever youngest Premier League scorer, after Cesc Fabregas. For more stats on Arsenal's youngest scorers, click here.

Date Opposition Competition Score Scorers
04/02/2012 Blackburn Premier League 7-1 Van Persie 3, Oxlade-Chamberlain 2, Arteta, Henry
23/12/2006 Blackburn
Premier League
6-2 Gilberto, Adebayor, Flamini, van Persie 2, Hleb
04/10/2009 Blackburn Premier League
6-2 Vermaelen, Fabregas, Arshavin, van Persie, Walcott, Bendtner
29/10/2008 Tottenham Premier League 4-4 Silvestre, Gallas, van Persie, Adebayor
23/10/2007 Slavia Prague Champions League 7-0 Fabregas 2, Hubacek (og), Walcott 2, Hleb, Bendtner
23/09/2008 Sheffield United
Carling Cup
6-0 Bendtner 2, Vela 3, Wilshere
21/08/2010 Blackpool Premier League 6-0 Walcott 3, Arshavin, Chamakh, Diaby
15/09/2010 Sporting Braga Champions League
6-0 Fabregas 2, Arshavin, Chamakh, Vela 2

Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme. To subscribe, or buy online, click here.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
8 Feb 2012