Everyone loves a Dane after Bendtner's hat-trick

The odds on Nicklas Bendtner scoring a hat-trick against Porto were shorter than those of finding an alien life-form, but not by all that much. Bookmakers offer about 100-1 that we will discover the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Last night the odds on Bendtner scoring his first hat-trick in senior football against the Portuguese champions were 40-1.

The Arsenal striker had been called many things, including the "Pantomime Dane", after missing three sitters against Burnley on Saturday. The only reason he managed to keep his place to face Porto in a game Arsenal had to win if they were to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals was because of the lack of any viable alternatives.

The three goals Bendtner scored were hardly memorable, unlike the two others by Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboué, both of which were outstanding examples of the magical football that Arsenal are capable of producing. His first was a smart reaction to stab home a loose ball, his second was a tap-in after wonderful work by Andrei Arshavin, and his third and final goal came from the penalty spot after Eboué was upended in stoppage time. But the record books will show a hat-trick, the first for any Arsenal player since Thierry Henry in 2006.

Bendtner said he was not thinking about proving people wrong following his catalogue of errors at the weekend. "Every time I play a game I put it behind me as soon as it's finished," he said last night. "Sometimes it's one of those days and today I put it right. I'm happy with my hat-trick but tomorrow we move on."

Bendtner has never been short of confidence, despite the knocks he has taken. The Dane has even been booed at times last season by his own supporters, fans who have grown up on the likes of Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and the imperious Henry. For them, Bendtner doesn't just not score enough, he looks ungainly when he misses. Yet despite it all he has managed to keep his self-belief intact. So much so that Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, expressed his hope that Bendtner's goals will not go to his head.

Wenger said: "It shows first of all how quickly football changes. I hope it will not give him too much confidence. It is good for him, I'm happy for him because he had a good game on Saturday, missed chances and today he had less chances and scored three goals. I hope it gives him the desire to work even harder.

"Football can change very quickly in three days, it goes quickly up and quickly down. It shows you he's not lost his confidence. He came back with focus and the same belief. It's one of his strengths. His confidence level is always stable. He has the size and presence we need."

If Bendtner needs inspiration in how to become an Arsenal legend, he could do worse than look at the example of Sol Campbell. The 35-year-old defender was playing his first home game for Arsenal since May 2006. His quiet performance at the back proved to be foundation for the side's victory. And when Bendtner beat Helton in stoppage time to score the penalty that brought him his hat-trick, Campbell was at his side to congratulate the young striker and bellow words of encouragement into his ear. Or perhaps he was telling him to keep an eye out for flying saucers.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone