Dream debuts and hat-trick heroes
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With competitive club football returning across Europe, FIFA.com’s latest stats review features a clutch of players who made spectacular impacts in various corners of the continent.

17

years and 196 days was the age at which Zakaria Bakkali became the youngest-ever player to score an Eredivisie hat-trick on Sunday. In doing so, PSV's Belgian winger smashed a record that had stood since 1966, when Ruud Geels (17 years, 235 days) scored all three for Telstar in a 3-1 win over MVV. Bakkali was making just his second appearance in the Dutch top flight but has already been called up to the senior Belgium squad by coach Marc Wilmots. And while his treble was the unrivalled highlight of a 5-0 win over NEC, there were plenty of other causes for excitement in a PSV side that had a remarkable average age of just 20 years and 216 days.

7

goals in his last six appearances against Wigan Athletic is the record with which Robin van Persie emerged from Sunday’s Community Shield. The Manchester United striker struck twice at Wembley to strengthen the Latics’ status as his favourite victims as the Red Devils won 2-0 in the traditional English curtain-raiser. Van Persie duly became the first Dutchman to score in the Community Shield since Ruud van Nistelrooy 12 years ago, though he missed out on a hat-trick. The last player to manage a treble in this fixture remains Eric Cantona, who scored three of Leeds United’s goals in a memorable 4-3 win over Liverpool in 1992.

4

goals in Dublin’s Southside Derby saw St Patrick’s Conan Byrne inflict Shamrock Rovers’ heaviest defeat in 25 years. The 28-year-old winger was responsible for all four of the game’s goals and, as well as enjoying the biggest individual haul of his career, he became the first St Pat’s player to score four in a League of Ireland match since Derek Carthy in February 1985. Byrne was also the first player to find the net four times against Shamrock Rovers, the Republic of Ireland’s record champions, in almost 38 years. This feat was all the more impressive as Rovers had gone into the match protecting a club record 18-match unbeaten run at their Tallaght Stadium. The defeat effectively ends their hopes of regaining a title for which rivals St Pat’s, a point clear of Dundalk with a game in hand, are currently favourites.

3

goals was the contribution Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made to Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Augsburg in a spectacular Bundesliga debut. The former Saint-Etienne striker, who was already making history as the first Gabonese player to turn out in Germany’s top flight, became just the sixth player to score a treble in his first appearance in the division. He is also the first to do so in over five years, since Martin Fenin made a similarly explosive impact on his Eintracht Frankfurt debut in February 2008. Dortmund, though, were not the only free-scoring team on the Bundesliga’s opening weekend. Newly promoted Hertha Berlin celebrated their return with a thumping 6-1 win over Frankfurt, their biggest victory since putting six unanswered goals past Borussia Monchengladbach in 2004. Both sides certainly contributed impressively to the Bundesliga’s highest-scoring Matchday 1 in two decades, with 37 goals registered overall.

2

minutes were on the clock against Guingamp when Andre-Pierre Gignac got Marseille’s season off to a flying start. However, while the French striker’s early goal was the joint-fastest goal on the opening Ligue 1 matchday since 2000, it was another OM player who stole the headlines. Dimitri Payet went on to find the net twice in the same match and, in doing so, became the first player to score a double on his competitive Marseille debut since Laurent Blanc in 1997. All of the south coast giants’ goals at the Stade du Roudourou arrived in the first half, the first time they have enjoyed such a productive and prolific opening 45 minutes in over five years.