Marcus Rashford scored the seventh Manchester United hat-trick in the Champions League era as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford.
He joins a select few United players to have managed a treble in Europe’s elite club competition (excluding qualifiers). Here’s a closer look at his special night and the others.
Andrew Cole was the first United player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League era when he netted a treble in a 3-1 win against Feyenoord during the 1997/98 group stage.
It was the first year that Cole was able to step out of the shadow of the recently retired Eric Cantona and he went on to score 25 goals in all competitions that season – his best single season tally at the club.
Cole was again on the hat-trick trail when United opened their 2000/01 Champions League campaign against Anderlecht at Old Trafford.
He scored the team’s first, fourth and fifth goals of the night in a comprehensive 5-1 win, which also resulted in him breaking Denis Law’s club record for European Cup goals that had stood for 31 years.
United fans had to wait for Wayne Rooney to make his debut because of injury following his transfer from Everton in the wake of Euro 2004. But when he finally did, it was worth it.
Just 18, Rooney scored a sublime hat-trick in a 6-2 win over Fenerbahce at Old Trafford, showcasing his talents with three very different kinds of goals – a deft finish, one from long-range and a precision free-kick.
Later in the 2004/05 Champions League group stage, Ruud van Nistelrooy bagged a four-goal haul for United against Sparta Prague – surprisingly his only European hat-trick for the club.
Sparta had held United to a 0-0 draw in Prague in the reverse fixture two weeks earlier, but Van Nistelrooy, who scored 150 goals in five seasons at United, made up for that in a 4-1 win.
Michael Owen had an unremarkable three-year spell at United, save for a handful of moments. Aside from that Manchester derby winner, one of those was a Champions League hat-trick against Wolfsburg.
The 3-1 win in Germany, which Owen sealed with two late goals following a first half opener, resulted in United topping their group and knocking Wolfsburg out in the process.
The Champions League offered respite for David Moyes’ United in 2013/14, until a 2-0 loss to Olympiacos in the first leg of the last 16 threatened an embarrassing elimination.
But Robin van Persie came to the rescue in the second leg, scoring all three goals in a decisive 3-0 win that erased the aggregate deficit and put United into the quarter-finals.
Not only did Marcus Rashford scored United’s first Champions League hat-trick in over six and a half years with his treble against RB Leipzig, it was the first United hat-trick scored by a substitute since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got four off the bench against Nottingham Forest in 1999.
It was also Rashford’s first senior hat-trick of his career and marked an important 5-0 win for the club after a tough start to the 2020/21 season.