By Ken Ferris
Southampton’s Senegal forward Sadio Mane scored the fastest Premier League hat-trick as he broke a 20-year-old record to help them lead 5-1 at home to Aston Villa by half-time on Saturday.
His treble was timed at two minutes and 56 seconds breaking Robbie Fowler’s record of four minutes and 33 seconds against Arsenal on 28 August 1994.
It also broke Scot Graham Leggat’s record for the quickest English top flight hat-trick scored in exactly three minutes for Fulham in a club record 10-1 win over Ipswich Town in 1963.
Mane struck in the 13th, 14th and 16th minutes at St Mary’s, which is the earliest a player has scored three goals in a Premier League game, beating the 22 minutes registered by Dwight Yorke for Blackburn Rovers in 2003.
Mane is the third Southampton player to score a Premier League hat-trick after James Beattie and Matt Le Tissier.
Southampton striker Shane Long grabbed a double in the 26th and 38th minutes to put Southampton 5-0 ahead.
Christian Benteke did pull a goal back in added time before the break prompting the travelling Villa fans to sing: “We’re going to win 6-5!”
The fastest hat-trick in Football League history was scored in two minutes and 20 seconds by Bournemouth’s James Hayter against Wrexham in 2004 after he came on as a substitute with his team leading 3-0 and six minutes left.
His parents missed his hat-trick as they had to leave early to get the last ferry back to the Isle of Wight.