Nwankwo Kanu etched his name into Arsenal folklore with a stunning hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, on October 23, 1999.
Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu scored one of the most memorable hat-tricks in Premier League history, helping Arsenal come back from 2-0 down to beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Kanu had only been at Arsenal for a few months when he faced Chelsea, but he had already made a big impression, scoring five goals in his first eight Premier League appearances.
However, he was not expected to start against Chelsea, as he had been struggling with a knee injury.
However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger decided to start Kanu, and the Nigerian repaid his manager’s faith with a stunning performance.
He scored his first goal in the 75th minute, when he latched on to a loose pass from Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf and finished calmly past goalkeeper Ed de Goey.
Just eight minutes later, Kanu equalized with an even more impressive goal.
He received the ball on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area and turned away from two defenders before unleashing a powerful shot into the top corner.
Kanu completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute with a goal that is still considered to be one of the greatest goals ever scored in the Premier League.
He received the ball on the left wing and dribbled past three Chelsea defenders before rounding de Goey and slotting the ball into the empty net.
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Kanu’s hat-trick was a remarkable achievement, and it helped Arsenal to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
They would eventually go on to win the title that year, with Kanu scoring 17 goals in 36 appearances.
Kanu’s hat-trick against Chelsea is still remembered fondly by Arsenal fans, and it is considered to be one of the greatest moments in the club’s history.
It was a performance that showed Kanu’s incredible skill, talent, and determination.
He went on to win two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and the Community Shield with the club.
Kanu was named African Footballer of the Year for the second time in 1999. In the 1999–2000 season, he scored 17 times in 50 matches for the Gunners.