EPL

Hat-trick or treat: Premier League history on Halloween

By Sports Desk October 31, 2020

It is that time of year again - Halloween is here!

October 31 is a date synonymous with apple-bobbing, costume parties, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating. And football, too, of course.

This Saturday sees three Premier League fixtures take place, so can we expect to see plenty of ghouls - sorry, goals - during proceedings?

Manchester City host Sheffield United in the early kick-off, Chelsea travel to Burnley and the schedule concludes with champions Liverpool welcoming West Ham to Anfield.

With help from Opta, take a (scary) trip down memory lane with a look at Halloween through the years in the English top flight, including some be-witching scoring feats and those left having nightmares.

 

HAT-TRICK TREATS

Three players have scored a Premier League hat-trick on the final day of October, the most recent being Demba Ba in a 3-1 win over Stoke City for Newcastle United nine years ago.

Newcastle were responsible for another of the trebles, with Kevin Nolan finding the net three times in a famous 5-1 win over, fittingly, the Black Cats – their bitter rivals, Sunderland – one year beforehand.

The other three-goal haul came via Aruna Dindane for Portsmouth against Wigan Athletic in 2009. A spook-tacular feat, indeed!

 

THE UNLUCKY 13

It is perhaps somewhat appropriate that 13 red cards have been dished out on Halloween down the years.

Stuart Pearce had a nightmare in Newcastle's meeting with West Ham in 1998 in the first of those incidents, the Toon going on to lose that match 3-0.

Liverpool have had more players dismissed on October 31 than any other Premier League side, with Jason McAteer, Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher all seeing red.

Kenwyne Jones, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Radoslav Kovac, Carlos Cuellar, Geovanni, Jlloyd Samuel, Titus Bramble and, most recently Russell Martin and James Collins in 2015, are the others to be given their marching orders on Halloween.

OG HORRORS

Arguably the biggest horror show a player can endure is scoring for the opposition, something only four players have done on this day since the Premier League was incepted.

Alfie Mawson could not mask his misery in Swansea City's 3-1 loss to Stoke City in 2016, turning Ramadan Sobhi's shot into his own net.

Craig Short did likewise for Everton against Manchester United 22 years ago, while Gary McAllister and Ian Brightwell – both in 1992 – complete the set.

LONG LIST OF GHOUL-SCORERS

Halloween is not all about chills, though - there are the occasional thrills, too!

Eighty-eight different players can hold claim to scoring on the spookiest day of the year, 17 of those bagging more than once.

As well as the aforementioned hat-trick heroes, the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Philippe Coutinho, Robin van Persie, Odion Ighalo and Ian Wright have scored multiple times.

Ighalo and Mahrez are two of six current Premier League players to have found the net on Halloween, along with Branislav Ivanovic, Olivier Giroud, Christian Benteke and Jamie Vardy. 

But Christian Benteke has the special honour of being the only one of those 88 goal-scorers from whose name you can create the words 'trick' and 'treat'.

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