The last Chelsea player to score a hat-trick against Manchester United before Samuel Eto’o was… Romelu Lukaku, eight months ago, after coming on as a second-half sub. Trouble was, he was on loan to West Brom at the time.
The last player to net three against the Reds while wearing a Chelsea shirt was Seamus O’Connell, on his debut in 1954; a game the Blues bizarrely lost 5-6.
Unlike today’s millionaire stars with their fancy mansions in Cobham, O’Connell couldn’t bear to leave his home town, so trained with Carlisle United during the week, then took the train down to London on Friday.
He would play for the Blues on Saturday, then catch the train north on the Sunday to work as a cattle trader.
It was a crazy way to carry on, but Seamus achieved a dozen goals in 17 starts, so it was worth it to Chelsea. After a season’s commuting he returned to amateur football, lifting the FA Amateur Cup three times.
Sunday’s 3-1 win over United condemned new manager David Moyes to his fourth defeat of 2014, and gave Blues fans immense satisfaction.
To the tune of Sloop John B, the singers in the Matthew Harding stand chorused: “We want you to stay, we want you to stay-ay-ay. David Moyes, we want you to stay!”
Eto’o’s hat-trick catapulted the player up the Blues’ top-scorer table, with the Cameroonian now only behind midfield marvel Eden Hazard in the SW6 charts.
How Chelsea could still do with a modern-day O’Connell, although with Fernando Torres missing for the next few weeks (ligament tweak), both Eto’o and forgotten man Demba Ba have the chance to prove something.
Eto’o had told Ba before the United game that he would score – which explains why he ran over to the Blues bench to celebrate.
Next up is FA Cup action against Stoke City at the Bridge this weekend, with Ba odds on to take part.