international football

Watch: If you thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hat-trick was lucky, check some of these out

Manchester United have been involved in quite a few lucky hat-tricks, but not always on the scoring end.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his first hat-trick for Manchester United in their 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne in the first leg of their round-of-32 clash at Old Trafford on Thursday. With this, Ibrahimovic took his season goal tally to 22, with more than three months left. Ibra now has as many hat-tricks for United as a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. Not bad for a 35-year-old who came on a free transfer, right? In his typical style, Zlatan also went on to call himself “Indiana Jones” after the match.

However, in spite of the hat-trick, Ibrahimovic was far from being United’s best player of the evening. It was Anthony Martial who deserved at least one, if not three goals to his name. In fact, Ibrahimovic probably scored the luckiest hat-trick in the club’s history. His three goals came via a deflection, a tap-in and a penalty.

Play

Hard as it is to believe, Zlatan is not the first player to get lucky to score three times in the same match. Here are some other contenders for the luckiest hat-trick in professional football.

Dirk Kuyt, Liverpool vs Manchester United, 2011

Play

It was March 2011 and table toppers Manchester United were visiting Anfield following a defeat at Chelsea. Title rivals Arsenal had failed to get three points against Sunderland that weekend and it was a great chance for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to stretch their lead at the top to six points.

However, what transpired was a second successive defeat as Dirk Kuyt scored the first hat-trick by a Liverpool player against Manchester United since Peter Beardsley in 1990. While that is a nice piece of trivia, Kuyt’s effort was by no means the stuff of legend. A certain Uruguayan named Luis Suarez was the chief architect of that 3-1 win.

Samuel Eto’o, Chelsea vs Manchester United, 2014

Play

Samuel Eto’o hammered in the final nail to the coffin that was Manchester United’s title defence as early as January when he produced a triplet at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea in a 3-1 thrashing. David Moyes’s United, who were struggling to cope up with life after Ferguson, were hapless in the match, which saw captain Nemanja Vidic being sent off as well.

Eto’o’s first strike looked like a wonderful left-footed curler from outside the box, but replays showed the ball had taken a deflection off Michael Carrick’s lunging foot before beating goalkeeper David De Gea. The Cameroonian striker’s second goal came via a side-footed tap-in, albeit well-placed one to beat De Gea, following a great low cross from Gary Cahill. The English defender should have had his name on the scoresheet in the second half when he headed the ball goalwards off a corner, but De Gea saved it, only for Eto’o to tap in the rebound.

Andrei Kanchelskis, Manchester United vs Manchester City, 1994

Play

Scoring a hat-trick in a derby match is the stuff of dreams and Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis lived it in a memorable night for the Reds at Old Trafford in the 1994-’95 season. Kanchelskis scored a treble in United’s 5-0 win over their neighbours and arch-rivals on what Niall Quinn, the stand-in City captain, described as his “worst night in football”.

Kanchelskis’s first goal was a low left-footed shot into the net, but replays showed the ball took a massive deflection off a City defender, which wrong-footed the ‘keeper, Simon Tracey. The Russian’s second goal of the night was a tap-in into an empty goal after Tracey had come forward to try and grab the ball off Kanchelskis’s feet. The United winger skipped past the lunging ’keeper before gently tapping the ball in. Okay, it wasn’t that lucky.

Kanchelskis’s third also came in almost similar fashion after he received the ball from Eric Cantona on the flank and shot, only for it to be blocked by Tracey. However, Kanchelskis collected the rebound and lobbed it over the ’keeper into an empty net to complete his treble. Cantona and Mark Hughes were the other two scorers in the game.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content  BY 

Want to retire at 45? Make your money work for you

Common sense and some discipline are all you need.

Dreaming of writing that book or taking that cruise when you hit your 40s? Well, this dream need not be unrealistic.

All it takes is simple math and the foresight to do some smart financial planning when you are still young. If you start early and get into the discipline of cutting down on unnecessary expenditure, using that money to invest systematically, you can build wealth that sets you free to tick those items off your bucket list sooner than later.

A quick look at how much you spend on indulgences will give you an idea of how much you can save and invest. For example, if you spend, say Rs. 1,000 on movie watching per week, this amount compounded over 10 years means you would have spent around Rs 7,52,000 on just movies! You can try this calculation for yourself. Think of any weekly or monthly expense you regularly make. Now use this calculator to understand how much these expenses will pile up overtime with the current rate of inflation.

Now imagine how this money could have grown at the end of 10 years and overcome the inflation effect if you had instead invested a part of it somewhere!

It is no rocket science

The fact is that financial planning is simpler than we imagine it to be. Some simple common sense and a clear prioritization of life’s goals is all you need:

  1. Set goals and work backwards: Everything starts with what you want. So, what are your goals? Are they short-term (like buying a car), medium-term (buying a house) or long-term (comfortable living post-retirement). Most of us have goals that come under all the three categories. So, our financial plans should reflect that. Buying a house, for example, would mean saving up enough money for up-front payment and ensuring you have a regular source of income for EMI payment for a period of at least 15-20 years. Buying a car on the other hand might just involve having a steady stream of income to pay off the car loan.
  2. Save first, spend later: Many of us make the mistake of putting what is left, after all our expenses have been met, in the savings kitty. But the reverse will have more benefits in the long run. This means, putting aside a little savings, right at the beginning of the month in the investment option that works best for you. You can then use the balance to spend on your expenditures. This discipline ensures that come what may, you remain on track with your saving goals.
  3. Don’t flaunt money, but use it to create more: When you are young and get your first jobit is tempting to spend on a great lifestyle. But as we’ve discussed, even the small indulgences add up to a serious amount of cash over time. Instead, by regulating indulgences now and investing the rest of your money, you can actually become wealthy instead of just seeming to be so.
  4. Set aside emergency funds: When an emergency arises, like sudden hospitalisation or an accident, quick access to money is needed. This means keeping aside some of your money in liquid assets (accessible whenever you want it). It thus makes sense to regularly save a little towards creating this emergency fund in an investment that can be easily liquidated.
  5. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: This is something any investment adviser will tell you, simply because different investment options come with different benefits and risks and suit different investment horizons. By investing in a variety of instruments or options, you can hedge against possible risks and also meet different goals.

How and Why Mutual Funds work

A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment scheme that pools money collected from investors like you and invests this into a diversified portfolio (an optimal mix) of stocks, bonds and other securities.

As an investor, you buy ‘units’, under a mutual fund scheme. The value of these units (Net Asset Value) fluctuates depending on the market value of the mutual fund’s investments. So, the units can be bought or redeemed as per your needs and based on the value.

As mentioned, the fund is managed by professionals who follow the market closely to make calls on where to invest money. This makes these funds a great option for someone who isn’t financially very savvy but is interested in saving up for the future.

So how is a mutual fund going to help to meet your savings goals? Here’s a quick Q&A helps you understand just that:

  1. How do mutual funds meet my investment needs? Mutual Funds come with a variety of schemes that suit different goals depending on whether they are short-term, medium-term or long-term.
  2. Can I withdraw money whenever I want to? There are several mutual funds that offer liquidity – quick and easy access to your money when you want it. For example, there are liquid mutual funds which do not have any lock in period and you can invest your surplus money even for one day. Based on your goals, you can divide your money between funds with longer term or shorter term benefits.
  3. Does it help save on taxes? Investing in certain types of mutual funds also offers you tax benefits. More specifically, investing in Equity Linked Saving Schemes, which are funds that invest in a diverse portfolio of equities, offers you tax deductions up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
  4. Don’t I need a lot of money to invest in MFs? No, you can start small. The returns in terms of percentage is the same irrespective of the amount you invest in. Additionally, the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) allows you to invest a small amount weekly, monthly or quarterly in a mutual fund. So, you get to control the size and frequency of your investment and make sure you save before you spend.
  5. But aren’t MFs risky? Well many things in life are risky! Mutual funds try to mitigate your risk by investing your money across a variety of securities. You can further hedge risk by investing in 2 to 3 mutual offers that offer different growth stories i.e. a blue-chip fund and a mid-cap fund. Also remember in a mutual fund, your money is being managed by professionals who are constantly following the market.
  6. Don’t I have to wait too long to get back my returns? No! Mutual Funds, because of the variety of options they offer, can give you gains in the short or medium term too.

The essence of mutual funds is that your money is not lying idle, but is dynamically invested and working for you. To know more about how investing in mutual funds really works for you, see here.

Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mutual Funds Sahi Hai and not by the Scroll editorial team.