Danny Welbeck was all smiles after notching his first professional hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over Galatasaray, but he was so overwhelmed that he forgot one of the best things about scoring three goals – taking home the match ball.
Welbeck went some way to silencing those that have questioned his finishing ability by scoring three goals from four shots on target, which went a long way to getting Arsenal’s Champions League campaign back on track.
It was the first time in his career, be it for Manchester United, Preston North End, Sunderland, Arsenal or England, so he can be forgiven for not knowing that he is meant to take home the match ball in tribute to his goalscoring.
Speaking after the match, Welbeck admitted he had completely forgotten the normal process for scoring a hat-trick.
“I forgot the match ball, didn’t I? But I’ll get it after,” said Welbeck. “My last hat-trick was probably for Manchester United reserves. This is the first of my professional career.”
Indeed, he soon got his hands on the match ball, and it will certainly be one to cherish for the striker given that he is flourishing as Arsenal’s number one striker in the absence of the injured Olivier Giroud.
The two are expected to battle it out for the starting striker berth as it’s unlikely to see both men in the strongest side given the options in attacking midfield. Welbeck was happy to pay back manager Arsene Wenger for showing faith in him, and with Giroud out until the New Year, he is delighted to be given a long run in his natural position.
“I’m playing up front trying to score goals and get opportunities and tonight it paid off and I got the three goals,” added Welbeck. “The manager has shown a lot of faith in me and I’m delighted to pay him back. He has given me a chance to play football up front in my preferred position and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that he is happy.”
The 23-year-old was also questioned on which goal was his favourite, and he quickly selected his final effort that saw a delicate chip lob over the onrushing Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
He said: “The last one I think, because I was stretching for it. I’ve been in that position a few times and chipped the keeper and sometimes it goes in and sometimes it doesn’t. Today I've seen him coming him out and he slid in.
“We’ve set the benchmark now and we have really got to try and grow on that win. From now on we want to get three points in every game.”
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