Super Eagles footballer Kelechi Iheanacho registered his first career hat-trick in the premier league after scoring thrice in Leicester City’s 5-0 demolition of Sheffield United on Sunday.
Sheffield United lost 2-0 to Southampton in their last premier league game – a result which got Chris Wilder fired – the Blades went to the King Power Stadium with the ambition of returning to winning ways.
Nevertheless, they were demolished by the hosts who are unrelenting in their quest to qualify for next season’s champions league.
Iheanacho gave Leicester City the lead in the 39th minutes of the game; thanks to Jamie Vardy’s assist. The goal ensured he scored in three consecutive English elite division appearances for the first time in his career.
Also, his last 12 goals in the competition have all come against sides starting the day in the bottom half of the table.
In the 64th minute, Ayoze Perez doubled his side’s advantage after capitalising on some good work from Marc Albrighton.
Four minutes later, the Nigerian forward got his second goal of the evening. Vardy passed a neat through-ball and showed great awareness with a first-time pass to pick out Iheanacho, who beat goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
He completed his treble in the 78th minute benefitting from a Wilfred Ndidi assist. Collecting the ball 30 yards from goal, he was allowed too much time to take aim before drilling a low shot past a helpless Ramsdale.
Things got worse for Paul Heckingbottom’s side in the 80th minute as Ethan Ampadu unwittingly diverted a shot into his own net.
Thanks to Iheanacho’s heroics, he has now been directly involved in 51 goals (37 goals, 14 assists) in 76 starts in all competitions, for Manchester City and Leicester City combined, since his move to England on the back of an impressive outing at the 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup.
Interestingly, each of the last three hat-tricks in the Premier League have been scored by African players – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Leeds United, Riyad Mahrez vs Burnley and Iheanacho vs Sheffield United.
With this result, the Foxes moved up to second in the premier league. As for the Blades, they remain 14 points from safety with just nine matches remaining.
Ifesinachi Nnabugwu reporting, Obinwannem News