It’s 11 years to the day since Dimitar Berbatov lit up Old Trafford with a five-goal haul as Manchester United hammered Blackburn 7-1 in the Premier League.
Ever the laid-back customer, the Bulgarian striker didn’t react to his haul of strikes on 27 November 2011 as though it was anything out of the ordinary.
Granted, Berbatov was helped to his tally on the day by some pretty poor opposition defending but five goals in a single Premier League game is an exceptional accomplishment – so much so that only four other men have ever matched the feat.
Here is a look at every occasion that an individual player has bagged five goals in Premier League history.
Andy Cole – Manchester United v Ipswich (1995)
The Theatre of Dreams was also the venue for the first-ever five-goal masterclass in top-flight history as Andy Cole cashed in on a hapless Ipswich Ipswich defence in March 1995.
The game was already over as a contest by half-time as United led 3-0 at the break – of which Cole had scored two.
Cole was in no mood to show any leniency in the second period, either, as he plundered a further three goals to propel his side to a 9-0 win, which to this day still stands as the biggest margin of victory in competition history.
All of Cole’s five strikes were poached in his trademark style, with none ever likely to make the end of season highlight reel individually. Any match where a record of this magnitude is smashed, though, will always be memorable.
Alan Shearer – Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday (1999)
The most prolific scorer in Premier League history with a staggering 260 goals to his name, Alan Shearer snatched five of them against Sheffield Wednesday in September 1999 as part of an 8-0 win.
The match itself marked the first home game in the managerial reign of Magpies legend Sir Bobby Robson – and he couldn’t have asked for a more impressive start.
Shearer had secured the match ball by the break and went on to add a further two goals after half-time as St. James’ Park welcomed Robson in style.
Jermain Defoe – Tottenham v Wigan (2009)
While he might not be able to boast numbers quite as massive as Shearer’s, Jermain Defoe’s place in Premier League history is secure.
Blasting no less than 162 goals in the competition for the likes of West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Sunderland, opposition defenders knew they were in for a tough 90 minutes when facing Defoe.
The unfortunate Wigan back-line that travelled to White Hart Lane to take on Defoe’s Spurs side in November 2009 couldn’t possibly have foreseen what was about to hit them.
Spurs sauntered to a 9-1 victory, despite only leading by a single goal at half-time. Defoe, emerged for the second period on a mission to put the game to bad as quickly as possible – and did so in fine style.
A seven-minute hat-trick before the hour mark was followed by two further strikes for the England striker as the visitors from Lancashire fell to bits in alarming fashion.
Dimitar Berbatov – Manchester United v Blackburn (2010)
The inspiration behind this article, Berbatov had a strong goalscoring season in 2010/11, ultimately sharing the Golden Boot award with Manchester City rival Carlos Tevez.
Although Tevez matched Berbatov with 20 top-flight goals across the campaign as a whole, he never came close to an individual performance that was as destructive as the United frontman managed against Blackburn.
It took Berbatov just two minutes to open his account, finishing with authority from close range. His second followed 25 minutes later when he took full advantage of a woeful back-pass from Pascal Chimbonda.
Bagging his hat-trick within two minutes of the restart, Berbatov continued to toy with a beleaguered Blackburn defence afterwards – helping himself to two further goals to become the fourth player in history to hit five in a Premier League fixture.
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City v Newcastle (2015)
While Newcastle supporters were delighted when club legend Shearer bagged five on home soil in 1999, they understandably felt differently when Argentinian hitman Aguero ripped their side apart in October 2015 at the Etihad Stadium.
Five goals in a single game is an impressive enough feat in itself, but Aguero managed it in the space of just 20 minutes.
Aguero would go out to become City’s highest goalscorer of all time but can have had few performances quite as satisfying as his part in this 6-1 mauling.
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