PSG's Layvin Kurzawa and five of the most unlikely hat-trick heroes

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Layvin Kurzawa enjoyed stealing the headlines from Neymar and co as he walked away with the match ball after scoring a second-half hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain‘s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Anderlecht last week.

Kurzawa, a left-back, scored three times in the space of 26 minutes after the break at the Parc des Princes as PSG ran away with the game following first-half strikes from Marco Verratti and Neymar.

Here, we look at five other unlikely hat-trick heroes.

SEYDOU KEITA | BARCELONA V REAL ZARAGOAZA | 2009

In 2009, Barcelona were enjoying their most successful era with Pep Guardiola at the helm and a wealth of attacking talent within their ranks. However, when Real Zaragoza came knocking at the Nou Camp, it was Seydou Keita who starred in a 6-1 rout of the visitors.

The midfielder was hardly accustomed to being among the goals with the likes of Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta part of the Catalan roster as well. On this occasion though, he was the main man, opening the scoring with a header from a corner-kick.

He then scored the third, arriving in the box to tap in a squared ball from Ibrahimovic and wrapped up his hat-trick at the death with another header from a corner. His treble on the night accounted for half his season’s tally over the season from 44 appearances.

Seydou Keita

Seydou Keita

STEVE WATSON | EVERTON V LEEDS UNITED | 2003

Just another tactical master-stroke from David Moyes. Seriously though, the Scot moved Steve Watson, who usually plied his trade as a defender, into midfield when Leeds United visited Goodison Park and he stunned everyone with an unprecedented treble in a 4-0 win.

This hat-trick was particularly memorable because of the spectacular nature of the goals as much as the unlikely goal scorer. He opened the scoring, playing a one-two with Duncan Ferguson inside the box before lashing a half-volley into the roof of the net.

Paul Robinson then came off his line to intercept a ball over the top of the defence but his clearance fell for Watson who proceeded to lob him from over 35 yards out. He then chipped the keeper yet again for his third from a near impossible angle.

Everton hat-trick hero Steve Watson (R)

Everton hat-trick hero Steve Watson (R)

RAY PARLOUR | ARSENAL V NEWCASTLE UNITED | 2000

Ray Parlour had little swagger about him but was an unsung hero during his time for Arsenal, solid as ever and always putting a good shift in. On this occasion against Newcastle though, “The Romford Pele” enjoyed a rare moment in the limelight as he graced Highbury with three of his finest.

Arsenal were on song on the day and Parlour enjoyed plenty of freedom to bomb forward from midfield. He finished off a lovely passing move from the Gunners with a fine strike for his first before nodding in Thierry Henry’s cross to make it 4-0 to the hosts.

Robert Pires then dinked a ball over three Newcastle players for Parlour, bursting past him like a freight train, to latch onto and steer past the keeper to complete his hat-trick.

Ray Parlour (R)

Ray Parlour (R)

NALDO | WERDER BREMEN V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT | 2006

Naldo stayed true to his Brazilian roots against Frankfurt, boasting a certain flair and eye for goal that every Selecao player harbours regardless of their position on the pitch.

After carrying the ball out from the back, he played a pass and continued his run unmarked before receiving the return with only the keeper to beat which he did with unerring ease for a centre-back. A more tradition centre half goal followed as he buried his header from a free-kick for his second.

He then went on to become the first defender to score a hat-trick in Bundesliga, completing the feat with a shot from distance off a free-kick which bobbled in along the turf.

Naldo (R)

Naldo (R)

DAVID BENTLEY | BLACKBURN V MANCHESTER UNITED | 2006

Comparing David Bentley to David Beckham was ill-advised to say the least but there was a brief moment in time when he produced some superb form for Blackburn and this hat-trick was very much what kicked it off.

In only his first appearance since moving from Arsenal permanently, Bentley became the first player in 14 years to put three past Manchester United. His goals in a stunning 4-3 win over the Red Devils doubled his career tally for senior strikes at the time.

His first two were rather fortuitous, pouncing on a rebound for the opener before taking advantage of a mix up between Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Saar to bundle in the second.

There was nothing scrappy about his hat-trick goal though. Robbie Savage hooked the ball in from the left and Bentley struck it first time on the bounce to bury it into the far corner to make it 4-1 at Ewood Park. Ruud van Nistelrooy bagged a late brace but the hosts ended yup 4-3 winners, leaving Bentley to take the plaudits.

David Bentley

David Bentley

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How Barcelona, Manchester City, Tottenham and other football clubs reacted to Twitter's new 280 character limit

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Social media platform Twitter has extended its character limit to 280, up from the famous 140 figure.

And while some might have their own opinions about it, football clubs didn’t waste the opportunity to get in on all the fun.

Twitter handles of clubs like Manchester City, Barcelona, Tottenham and many others were quick to come out with their reactions and you surely cannot afford to miss out reading them.

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Manchester City 2016-17 Annual Report reveals a third consecutive year of profit and record revenues

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City visited Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

Manchester City have released their Annual Report for 2016-17, announcing the Club’s third consecutive year of profitability and the ninth successive year of improved financial performance.

The Etihad Stadium side reported record revenues of £473.4million, marking a 21% increase from the previous year and breaking £400million for the first time in city’s history.

A profit of £1.088million was posted, despite the club reporting against a 13-month period which had an adverse impact on profitability.

The extended reporting period arises from a move to change the sky blues’ reporting cycle to a July 1 to June 30 year end in order to better align the Premier League leaders with City Football Group’s growing number of reporting entities.

Commenting on the publication, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “This report is about making sure our fans and our partners can see the true detailed status of every aspect of the club. What hopefully comes across is that the football organization and off-field business have the right symmetry and balance to allow us to continue to further strengthen and grow.”

In the report, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak observes the revenue growth moving “towards the £500m mark” and reiterates the club’s long held position that “on-field success and financial sustainability must exist hand-in-hand.”

Despite the Pep Guardiola’s team finishing the season without silverware and the disappointment that comes with that, Al Mubarak also reflects on “a season of promise and of some very real highlights” and the fact that “targeted investment in the summer of 2016 in some talented young players, blended together with the existing capabilities in our squad, led to an impressive start to the season and some memorable performances.”

This sentiment is echoed by Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano who points to the fact that while finishing the season empty handed was unsatisfactory, the team showed at periods throughout the season ‘exactly the type of quality football we want to be playing.”

He continues saying: “We are committed to playing beautiful football and to win. Both elements are compatible and the second is a consequence of the first.”

On the development of young players, chairman Al Mubarak celebrates the nine trophies won by the club’s Academy teams and the two academy players who marked their first team debuts during the season:

He added: “The ongoing development of Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz in particular, continues to be encouraging and our commitment to nurture our own talent remains a central pillar for the club’s long-term sustainability.”

The report also highlights the incredible achievements of Manchester City’s treble-winning women’s team, which Khaldoon Al Mubarak describes as “an outstanding achievement” that has established the team as a “major force in the game.”

Looking forward to the 2017-18 season, the chairman says City “enters this season with a justifiable sense of ambition and expectation”, a view shared by CEO Ferran Soriano who says that he is “convinced we will see further progress and silverware in the seasons to come.”

Concluding the message, the citizens’ chairman points to the fact that the 2017-18 marks a decade under His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s stewardship, reflecting that “in the context of more than 120 years of Club history, this is a relatively short period of time, but it has been one of significant growth, with much learned and much gained on a journey that still has a long way to go.”

Visit mancity.com/annualreport2017 to read the full report.

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