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).
|Player||Hat-tricks||Games per hat-trick|
|Robin van Persie||3||87|
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.
|Games per hat-trick||Overall||Under Arsène Wenger|
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.
|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)
|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)
|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.
|04/02/2012||Blackburn||Premier League||7-1||Van Persie 3, Oxlade-Chamberlain 2, Arteta, Henry|
||6-2||Gilberto, Adebayor, Flamini, van Persie 2, Hleb
||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|
||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.