Friday 22 March 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy started a record-breaking run of scoring in 10 consecutive Barclays Premier League matches with a hat-trick in the victory over Fulham at Old Trafford.
The Dutch international forward opened the scoring from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time but he dazzled the Old Trafford faithful with his second goal, as he shrugged off Sylvain Legwinski in the centre circle and raced past three Fulham defenders before scoring with a superb finish.
The in-form striker rounded off the win with a deflected strike in injury time to take Man Utd to the top of the Premier League for the first time in a year, and he went on to fire Sir Alex Ferguson's side to the 2002/03 league title with an astonishing run of goalscoring form.
Van Nistelrooy became the first player to score in 10 consecutive matches since the Premier League's inception in 1992, and he scored 15 goals during that 10-match period, which stretched over to the start of the 2003/04 season.
The forward added another hat-trick during the run, when he scored three in United's 4-1 victory over Charlton, and he stunned Liverpool with a double in the second match of the scoring streak in a 4-0 win at Old Trafford.
After his arrival from PSV Eindhoven at the start of the 2001/02 season, Van Nistelrooy had a hugely successful Premier League career. He scored 95 league goals in only 150 appearances and scored over 20 goals in four of his five seasons in England. He won the Golden Boot after scoring 25 times in Man Utd's title winning campaign in 2002/03.