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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

In a bid to discover the Club's most memorable games of the Premier League's 20 seasons, we asked fans to vote in an exclusive poll on Today, our countdown from 20 to one continues with a fiery derby triumph on the opposite side of Stanley Park...

EVERTON 5-3 Blackpool, 5 February 2011
Saha (19, 46, 75, 83), Beckford (79)           
Att: 38,202

He has been a leading Premier League striker for more than decade yet before this game Louis Saha had never scored a top-flight hat-trick.

Having been the most prolific scorer of doubles without ever adding a crowning third, Saha made a mockery of that geeky stat as he almost single-handedly demolished Blackpool at Goodison Park.

Not content with clinically dispatching a landmark treble, Saha added a fourth for good measure and walked out of Goodison Park flashing a broad grin, match ball firmly tucked under his arm.

His masterclass in finishing - he might have had five but for poor officiating - headlined an eight-goal thriller that from start to finish provided a wonderful advert for English football.

Lashing rain, a greasy surface, individual errors and feeble defending simply added to the brew as both teams mercilessly went for the jugular.

The game was wide open and played at a dizzying pace with Blackpool happy to commit men forward when their chances arrived and the Blues, at times, playing some slick inventive football.

Twice Saha fired his side in front only for Alex Baptiste and Jason Puncheon to drag the visitors level.
Charlie Adam then stunned Goodison by putting the Tangerines in front for the first time in the match, only for Saha to plunder his third as momentum shifted again.

Substitute Jermaine Beckford sparked pandemonium inside the old ground by volleying in Leighton Baines' sublime pass with a razor-sharp finish.

And Saha put the seal on the win with the pick of his goals, running half the length of the pitch before beating keeper Paul Rabchuka with the outside of his boot.

It was an absorbing contest packed with action, fulsome in talking points and culminating in the Blues climbing to 13th in the table.

For a full 2010/11 fixture list, click here .


Baines                                     Coleman                                 
Bilyaletdinov (Cahill 70)      
Rodwell (Beckford 70)
Saha (Jagielka 86)                   

Puncheon (Edwards 74)
D Vaughan
Campbell (Southern 74)
Beattie (Harewood 80)

What They Said 

"Anyone who has played against him, played with him or managed him will tell you about his ability. He has not shown it as often as he could have done but his performance today was right up there with the very best." - David Moyes on four-goal hero Louis Saha

"I said to my wife before the start that this was our biggest game of the season and it is a pleasure to score. But it would have been a pity had I scored the goals and we didn't win." - Louis Saha

"I don't think I have ever played in a game like it. It was end to end and both teams looked like scoring every time they went forward, it was mad. It was a great advert for the Premier League." - Seamus Coleman

In The News

- In Egypt, protests against the regime of president Hosni Mubarak enter a 12th day. Thousands sleep out in Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo.

- The Daily Telegraph publishes material from the website Wikileaks stating the USA provided Russia with sensitive information on Britain's nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty.

- The International Cricket Council bans Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for five years for match-fixing.

- Thousands of Italians attend a rally to demand the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi following the uncovering of a sex scandal.

-       A new Premier League scoring record is set as 41 goals are plundered in eight matches. One sees Arsenal blow a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4 with Newcastle.

- The King's Speech, a film which would later win seven Oscars, is playing in cinemas nationwide, while Ke$ha's 'We R Who We R' tops the UK singles charts.

What Happened Next

- Everton, 13th in the Premier League table following this thriller, produced a familiar end of season rally to end the campaign in seventh.

- Blackpool won many plaudits for their attacking verve but were eventually relegated on the final day of the season following a 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

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