Kevin Gameiro came off the bench to score one of the fastest hat-tricks in Liga history, striking three times in five minutes to give Atletico Madrid a 4-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
Spanish statistician Mister Chip said the Frenchman’s three goals came in the space of four minutes 45 seconds – beating by one second the modern-day record set by David Villa against Athletic Bilbao in 2006.
Opta clocked Gameiro’s feat at 4 minutes 43 seconds, but said it trailed a four-minute hat-trick scored by Bebeto in 1995.
What is certain is Gameiro becomes the first Atletico substitute ever to score a hat-trick, and only the fourth in Liga history.
The final scoreline flattered Diego Simeone’s side, who up until the Frenchman’s introduction in the second half had been more than matched by their relegation-threatened hosts. In fact, Sporting were the side pressing for a winner as full time came into sight.
But Gameiro made a devastating impact, with his energy and pace catching out the home side at the back not once, not twice, but three times. Sporting Gijon simply couldn’t cope with the French striker, who has been second choice to Fernando Torres recently.
The result keeps Atletico Madrid firmly in the hunt for a top four place, with Simeone’s side now four points ahead of fifth-placed Real Sociedad and four points behind leaders Real Madrid, who have three games in hand.