Anatomy of Sadio Mane's hat-trick against Aston Villa - the fastest in Premier League history

16 May 2021 03:30

Was 16 May 2015 the day that the world stood up and took notice of Southampton's lightning fast, devastatingly clinical winger, Sadio Mane?

The Senegalese forward was enjoying a steady first season in the Premier League, having scored seven goals and recorded three assists since his move from Red Bull Salzburg to the south coast.

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All that changed in the penultimate game of the 2014/15 season however, when Southampton welcomed Aston Villa to St Mary's, and Mane ran riot. He would go on to make history that day, and upon delivering another impressive campaign a year later, it became clear he was destined for greater things.

The history books will tell us that one Champions League and one Premier League title later, the Liverpool superstar was indeed born for the biggest stages of all. But on this day in 2015, he was no more than an intriguing prospect, waiting to explode and blow us all away.

The first moment of excellence arrived after 13 minutes against the Villans, and it was the start of a historic two minute and 56-second spell for the winger. Mane was quickest off the mark to meet a flicked-on header, nipping in to beat the defence and have a crack at goal.

Shay Given made the save, but once again, Mane was fastest to the rebound, and he tapped home with glee. Villa were reeling from this early setback, and a matter of seconds later, it was basically game over.

Mane began the move on the right, looking for a one-two and chasing down the loose ball. The back-pass to Given was short, Shane Long intercepted, and the Senegalese star blitzed beyond the static backline to slot into an empty net.

The best of the lot came some more seconds later. The relentless Long escaped down the left flank, looked up, and cut the ball back towards the edge of the box. All that was needed was a predatory forward to apply an inch-perfect finish.

Preferably one who had shown how deadly he was over the past two minutes and 56 seconds. Fortunately for us, our protagonist was lying in wait. As the ball reached the right-hand side of the penalty area, Mane surveyed his options and decided that planting a right-footed wedge into the top corner was the best course of action.

Sure enough, his glorious attempt floated like a balloon in the breeze, evading Given's desperate outstretched palm. The ball nestled into the net, and the striker wheeled away to lap up the applause of his worshipping supporters.

To round off his superb afternoon, Mane was heavily involved in the fourth goal and laid on the sixth, as Southampton walloped Villa 6-1, giving their fans the perfect send off to their home campaign.

A hero for Southampton and Liverpool | VI-Images/Getty Images

It was quickly confirmed that Mane had in fact broken the record for the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history, beating Robbie Fowler's previous attempt, which had stood for 21 years.

It was only fitting then, that the man who had surpassed the Liverpool legend's record would then write his own story at Anfield, becoming a hero among the Merseyside faithful.

Source: 90min