Manchester United are approaching an unwanted anniversary as almost seven years have passed since Robin van Persie’s hat-trick against Aston Villa, the last time a Red Devil netted three in one game in the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson was still at the United helm and celebrated his final season at Old Trafford with a 13th Premier League title, with Van Persie winning that campaign’s Golden Boot on 26 goals.
Research conducted by American Gambler showed the Red Devils haven’t seen a Premier League triple since April 22, 2013, via fan account MUFC Scoop:
The club has gone through five managers and played 261 Premier League matches since then without a three-goal spree in sight. The study also showed Brighton & Hove Albion are the only team to have never scored a top-flight hat-trick.
Ferguson left the United helm in 2013 and was succeeded by David Moyes, who was fired less than one year later and replaced by Louis van Gaal.
Van Persie scored five Premier League hat-tricks during his career—two for United and three for Arsenal—but that title-clinching effort against Villa was his last in England’s top flight.
The Red Devils have struggled to find the same calibre of striker since the Dutchman left the club.
Van Persie scored 30 goals in all competitions during that 2012-13 campaign. Zlatan Ibrahimovic came closest to matching that mark with 28 during the 2016-17 season (17 in the Premier League), while Romelu Lukaku managed 27 the following year (16 in the Premier League).
Marcus Rashford, 22, was leading United’s line prior to injury in January, at which point he’d scored 14 league goals and 19 in all competitions (both career-best figures). That number is already superior to the club-high 16 goals Paul Pogba recorded during the 2018-19 campaign.
The Red Devils hope their academy product can recover from injury to better those levels again upon his return and hopefully end United’s hat-trick drought.