Cole Palmer Scores Flawless Hat-Trick… But What Is It?

It is safe to say that Cole Palmer has been one of Chelsea’s better buys in recent times! Since Todd Boehly took charge of the club their transfer activity has been drawing a lot of attention but little of it has been positive. However, when it comes to the £42m the Blues paid Man City for their Mancunian forward, they have definitely bagged a bargain.

With seven games of the 2023/24 season to go, Palmer has already scored 20 Premier League goals. That means he is the league’s joint-top scorer at the time of writing, whilst his nine assists mean he is just one shy of being the joint most creative player too. Those 29 goal involvements represent almost 50% of the 61 goals the club has managed in the EPL and so it is not outlandish to suggest that were it not for Palmer, the Blues could have been on the outer edges of a relegation fight!

He made a very steady start at the club, scoring four times and assisting twice in his first nine games, stats that are more impressive given he played less than 30 minutes in four of those. However, since just before the start of 2024 he has been truly electric. Palmer scored a brace and assisted a third goal in Chelsea’s last game of 2023 and including those he has 14 goals and six assists in his last 12 games. Those are world-class, Lionel Messi-esque numbers and his best effort came last time out against Everton.

Perfect Palmer Punishes Poor Toffees

On the 15th of April, 2024, Chelsea brushed aside the Toffees in fine style, winning 6-0 at Stamford Bridge. That win was all the more striking given Everton’s excellent defensive record this term. Even after that mauling, only three teams have conceded fewer goals than Sean Dyche’s outfit.

One man was very much at the centre of Chelsea’s incredible win and, as we related earlier, he has been for much of the season. Palmer, playing centrally behind the main striker, netted four of Chelsea’s six goals. He scored the opening three goals of the game inside half an hour and given Everton’s woeful scoring record, that essentially put the game to bed.

Palmer’s second was a simple close-range header after a Jordan Pickford parry but the goals on either side were special. The opener saw him nutmeg Jarrad Branthwaite, backheel a one-two with Nicolas Jackson and then apply a first-time finish into the bottom corner. He completed his hat-trick from around 40 yards, lobbing Pickford after the England stopped played a poor pass forward which Palmer intercepted, before making the looped finish over the out-of-position goalkeeper look far easier than it was.

The ex-City player then scored a fourth in the second half which was perhaps the toughest goal of the lot. It was a penalty but he had to fight off not one, but two teammates in order to take it – despite being the designated taker!

Palmer Scores Flawless Hat-Trick

Scoring a hat-trick is a dream for any footballer and attackers are judged by their goals. In truth, how those goals come is of no real concern to, well, just about anybody. Even so, the concept of a “perfect hat-trick” is one that has been around for a long time and may excite or interest certain fans.

A perfect hat-trick involves scoring one goal with the right foot, one with the left and one with a header. There is some dispute as to whether penalties count, but Palmer’s first three goals, prior to his spot-kick, were “perfect”. His first was with his left, the second a header and the third a bit of a swinger with his right.

However, Palmer’s quickfire treble was not just perfect; it was, in fact, flawless. The flawless hat-trick is a concept that is more widely known in Germany and Austria, where it is called a lupenreiner hat-trick. A flawless hat-trick is a perfect hat-trick where the player scores the three goals without interruption.

“Interruption” in this sense means that the player must score the three goals of the hat-trick in a row and also in the same half. Another player scoring, from their own team or the other side, or half-time, would count as an interruption and so whilst the treble could still be perfect, it would not be flawless.

Palmer’s goals came in the 13th, 18th and 29th minutes, with Jackson scoring after 44 minutes before Palmer’s fourth in the 65th minute and Alfie Gilchrist making it six in the last minute of normal time. Those first three strikes by the £40m man were, therefore, a flawless hat-trick.

His treble was also, according to the official Premier League website, the earliest perfect hat-trick in the history of the competition. Completed after just 29 minutes of the game, no player has ever wrapped up a perfect (or flawless) hat-trick so soon. In addition, it was the fastest perfect hat-trick since at least 2008/09, when firm data was kept on such accomplishments.

Palmer Presses England Claims

England National Football TeamEngland may have some questions about their defence but in midfield and attack they have an embarrassment of riches. Declan Rice is their primary defensive midfielder and, if fit, Harry Kane will be the main striker but then Gareth Southgate must decide how to use his plethora of other forwards.

Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka are world class, or certainly bordering on that status. But then the Three Lions also have the likes of Palmer, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, James Maddison, Anthony Gordon, Jarrod Bowen, Ollie Watkins, Ivan Toney, Eberechi Eze and Conor Gallagher, with several of those unlikely to even make the squad, let alone the team.

Palmer’s performances of late have really pushed his name forward and if he continues in this vein, it is impossible to see Southgate overlooking him. Another big advantage that Palmer has is his ability from the spot, the Chelsea man having scored 13 out of 13 penalties across his whole career. And we know how important penalties can be to England at major tournaments!