Premier League: Will anyone emulate Henry, Drogba and Aiyegbeni’s final-day heroics?

Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Yakubu Aiyegbeni have previously netted final-day Premier League hat-tricks (Credit: Imago)


Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Yakubu Aiyegbeni are among the 13 players to have scored Premier League hat-tricks in the concluding gameweek (Credit: Imago)

Premier League: Will anyone emulate Henry, Drogba and Aiyegbeni’s final-day heroics?

Seye Omidiora 22:48 - 17.05.2024

No player has scored a final-day Premier League hat-trick in seven years, but will that wait end this weekend to match the feats of Henry, Drogba and Aiyegbeni?

The Premier League has seen 13 players score hat-tricks this season, with Phil Foden notching two in the lead-up to the culmination of the 2023-24 season. 

Fourteen hat-tricks this term is six higher than last season (2022-23) when just five players netted three times or more in one game, as Erling Haaland casually hit three in one game four times in his debut season in England. 

There were 11 hat-tricks in the 2021-22 season, involving 10 players as Cristiano Ronaldo did it twice, while it was the same number in the 2020-21 campaign, this time without any of the 11 repeating three goals in one game. 

According to Opta, 13 hat-tricks have been netted on the final day since the advent of the Premier League in the 1992-93 season, with Leeds United Rod Wallace and Southampton’s Matt Le Tissier netting three times against Coventry and Oldham, respectively in May 1993 while Harry Kane was the last player to hit three in one game on the concluding gameweek of the season, which has not been repeated since the Englishman's feat against Hull in the 2016-17 campaign. 

Harry Kane was the last to score a Premier League hat-trick on the last day of the season.
There has been no Premier League hat-trick on the final day since Harry Kane's against Hull in May 2017 (Imago/Action Plus)

Pulse Sports handpick three players to have had a huge say on the final day in Premier League history. 

Yakubu Aiyegbeni — Portsmouth (2003-04)

Yakubu remains the only player to score four times on the final day in Premier League history, with the then-Portsmouth striker notching three in the opening half-hour before adding a fourth in the game’s closing minutes. 

It took the Nigerian to 16 top-flight goals for the club, who ended 13th in the league having been tipped by many for immediate relegation to the Championship. 

Despite scoring four times, ‘The Yak’ was not pleased, according to Harry Redknapp’s anecdote, revealing a bet he had made with the Nigerian at the start of that season. 

Thierry Henry — Arsenal (2005-06)

Arsenal had gone from Invincibles in the 2003-04 season to runners-up the following year and battling to make Champions League football in their final season at Highbury. 

While the campaign was not all disappointing, as the Gunners made it to that campaign’s Champions League final (a game they lost to Barcelona), Henry notched a final-day treble as the North London club said goodbye to their old ground. 

The Gunners' captain led by example with fourth place on the line after Wigan stunned Highbury with Paul Scharner and David Thompson netting twice to lead 2-1 following Robert Pires' eighth-minute goal. 

Thierry netted three times for Arsenal against Wigan in 2006
Thierry Henry scored three times for Arsenal in the final Premier League round in 2005-06 (Imago/Paul Marriott)

Henry levelled two minutes after Thompson’s 33rd-minute goal, added one more in the 56th minute and completed his treble with a penalty in 14 of the 90 to play. 

The upshot of the Frenchman’s goals and Tottenham losing at West Ham United meant Arsenal leapfrogged their rivals into fourth at the finish line. 

Didier Drogba — Chelsea (2009-10)

Didier Drogba went into gameweek 38 tied with Wayne Rooney on 26 goals, with Chelsea and Manchester United battling for the league title. 

With the Blues already 1-0 up after Nicolas Anelka's sixth-minute effort, Carlo Ancelotti's men won a penalty on the half-hour mark, which Drogba wanted to take.

However, the club’s designated penalty taker Frank Lampard was unwilling to risk the result over individual feats to the displeasure of the Ivorian. 

Didier Drogba was not allowed to take a first-half penalty against Wigan
Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba argued over a first-half penalty against Wigan (Imago/Colorsport)

It ended up being a non-story, as Drogba scored a second-half treble, including a 68th-minute penalty.

Chelsea claimed their third Premier League title and became the first club to score 100 goals, hitting 103 in total, with the striker also winning the Golden Boot ahead of Rooney, who did not score in the Red Devils’ 4-0 triumph over Stoke

There was a 10-year wait for a final-day hat-trick after Wallace and Le Tessier’s heroics in 1992-93, with Freddie Ljungberg notching three goals in Arsenal's 4-0 win over relegated Sunderland. 

The Gunners have more entries than most for late-season hat-tricks, with Theo Walcott (2014 vs West Bromwich) and Olivier Giroud (2015 vs relegated Aston Villa) following suit in consecutive seasons. 

Will anyone on Mikel Arteta’s side or elsewhere end the seven-year wait for a 14th hat-trick to close out this goal-laden campaign?