Wednesday 20 February 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
On this day: Review of February
Nicolas Anelka scored a first-half hat-trick as Arsenal routed Leicester City 5-0 at Highbury. Arsene Wenger's Gunners blitzed the Foxes in the opening exchanges of the match, and a quick-fire double from 20-year-old forward Anelka put the hosts in command after 27 minutes. Ray Parlour made it three on 42 minutes and Anelka completed his treble just before the break.
Arsenal scored a fifth three minutes after the interval, and aided their title charge with this comprehensive victory. The win wasn’t quite enough to help the north Londoners win a second Barclays Premier League title, though, as Manchester United won the league by a single point on a dramatic final day.
United also went on to lift the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, with an extra-time semi-final victory over Arsenal proving vital.
Anelka was Arsenal’s top scorer in the 1998/99 campaign with 17 goals, in just his second season after signing as a teenager from French Ligue 1 side Paris St Germain. The France international earned a move to Real Madrid in 1999, before returning to the Barclays Premier League with Liverpool in the 2001/02 season.
The striker also enjoyed spells at Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea – where he won the Premier League in the 2009/10 campaign. Anelka is one of 23 players to have scored 100 goals or more in the Premier League, with 122 goals to his name in over 350 appearances.
Leicester finished 10th in the league despite the defeat, and would go on to lift the League Cup the following year under the guidance of Martin O'Neill.