Weston old boy Watkins hails first Premier League hat-trick as ‘unbelievable’
PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 October 2020
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Aston Villa’s record signing Ollie Watkins described scoring his first ever Premier League hat-trick as “unbelievable” after netting a first-half treble against league champions Liverpool in a stunning 7-2 victory.
Watkins had never scored a top-flight goal before Sunday’s match, after spells in the lower leagues with Exeter City, including a loan move to Weston, and then Brentford.
But all that changed inside the first 45 minutes at Villa Park as the forward opened his account on four minutes, following good work by Jack Grealish, to smash home his first goal.
His second arrived 18 minutes later when he cut in from the left and then rifled into the top corner and Watkins scored his third as he headed home from Trezeguet’s cross in the 39th minute.
Watkins has scored more league goals than any other player in England’s top four tiers since the start of last season with 29 and told Sky Sports: “I think when the first one went in I pinched myself a bit because of how early it was.
“I’m delighted to contribute and that we won at the end of the day. It’s unbelievable to score and get a hat-trick, before the game I wouldn’t have thought I’d score three. After the first one I grew in confidence, but I probably should have scored more than three in the end. I’d back myself to score some of the chances I missed.
“We saw how high they play and the game plan was to get in behind and you could see that it worked. We fancied ourselves but I’m not sure we thought it would have been that score. It was more about making sure they couldn’t pass through us and we all worked hard and it showed.”
Further goals by John McGinn, boyhood Evertonian Ross Barkley and a brace from Grealish secured Villa’s best start to a season since 1962. It was the first time Liverpool have conceded seven goals since 1963 and only their fourth Premier League defeat since January 3, 2019.
“It wasn’t just his goals that impressed me – it was his hold-up play, the strength. He’s too strong for you. Bringing people into the game,” Alan Shearer, who scored 11 hat-tricks for Blackburn and Newcastle in the top flight, told BBC’s MOTD2.
“Running in behind, he was a constant nuisance, they just couldn’t live with him. We said he should have scored more – he perhaps should have. What a day for him and for Aston Villa.”
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