The North London Derby takes place in an hour’s time, so I thought that it was appropriate to include a hat-trick from a previous match between Arsenal and Tottenham for this week’s Greatest Hat-Trick.
On 23rd December, Arsenal travelled down the Seven Sisters Road to face arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. A victory would be the perfect early Christmas present for their fans. They would get the win they so desperately craved, but were definitely not expecting the emphatic scoreline.
In one of the most one-sided North London derbies, Arsenal won 5-0, with Alan Sunderland scored a hat-trick. His first goal came within a minute of the kick-off.
Tottenham’s John Pratt tried to hit a backpass to his goalkeeper from ten yards inside the Arsenal half. It fell well short of Mark Kendall and the Arsenal striker prodded the ball in from just inside the penalty area.
His second goal came from an excellent cross-field ball from Liam Brady. Sunderland cut inside and took the ball past a defender before slamming the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Frank Stapleton added a third just after the hour mark before Liam Brady scored the goal of the game, hitting a phenomenal swerving shot to give Arsenal a 4-0 lead.
Sunderland completed his hat-trick in the 82 minute. Former Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings hit a long kick downfield. Frank Stapleton headed the ball on and Sunderland ran past two defenders before firing low past Mark Kendall.
Arsenal won the FA Cup at the end of the season, beating Manchester United 3-2, with Sunderland scoring a last-minute winner. Along with the hat-trick against Spurs, the striker’s name would forever be written in the Arsenal history books.