Chris Wood came back to haunt his former team on Boxing Day, as the forward hit a hat-trick in Nottingham Forest’s shock win at Newcastle.
The New Zealand international failed to make much of an impact during 12 months at St James’ Park, before moving to Nottingham Forest last summer, after an initial loan deal.
Wood’s wonderful treble downed his old team at St James’ Park, however, inflicting a damaging blow on Newcastle’s hopes of Champions League football. The 32-year-old became just the fourth Premier League player to score a hat-trick against a former club in the process.
Here, we look at each player to have achieved the feat.
The Premier League players to score hat-tricks against former clubs:
Andy Cole’s goalscoring feats propelled Newcastle back into the big time and soon turned the head of Premier League rivals.
After scoring the goals to earn the Magpies promotion to the Premier League, Cole struck a then-record 34 league goals in 1993/94 to win the PFA Young Player of the Year and Golden Boot in his maiden top-flight campaign.
Six months later, he departed to sign for Manchester United in a British record deal worth £7m, and went on to score 121 goals during a decorated seven-year spell at Old Trafford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 30, 2013
Cole came back to haunt Newcastle in ruthless fashion during the opening weeks of the 1999/2000 season, as he scored FOUR times in a 5-1 win for Manchester United. The goals were the perfect response to Cole’s omission from the latest England squad, while the result continued a miserable start to the campaign for Newcastle, who had taken just one point from six games after the defeat.
Marcus Bent scored a hat-trick against his old employers as Wigan beat Blackburn in an eight-goal thriller in 2007.
Bent’s nomadic career took in spells at no less than 18 clubs, with the forward scoring eight goals in 28 second-tier games to help Blackburn to promotion to the Premier League in 2000/01.
Six years later, Bent scored seven Premier League goals as Wigan finished 14th in the top tier under Steve Bruce.
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) January 16, 2015
Wigan had gone 13 games without a win before a Bent-inspired win over their North-West rivals, that remarkably saw Roque Santa Cruz also score a hat-trick in a losing effort for Blackburn. It was the first time that opposing players had scored hat-tricks in the same Premier League game.
Everton capitulated in the closing stages to lose to Watford in an astonishing game at Goodison Park during the 2021/22 campaign.
Watford had been trailing 2-1 heading into the final 12 minutes, but scored four times in the final minutes to come from behind and claim a 5-2 win.
Josh King led the charge for the Hornets, scoring a hat-trick against his former team to hand Claudio Ranieri his first win as Watford manager. The Norwegian had cancelled out Tom Davies’ early opener for Everton, before two goals in six minutes from King helped Watford run riot late on.
The shellshocked Everton fans must have wondered if this was the same player who had struggled during an underwhelming spell with the Toffees in 2021. King failed to score in 11 appearances for Everton the previous season.
Chris Wood became the fourth Premier League player to score a hat-trick against his former team on Boxing Day 2023, hitting three goals in Nottingham Forest’s impressive win at Newcastle.
The New Zealand international scored only four goals in 34 league appearances as a Newcastle player, but almost matched that haul inside 90 minutes upon his return to St James’ Park with Forest.
Wood tapped in from close range to cancel out Alexander Isak’s opener for Newcastle, before scoring a superb second as he weaved past Dan Burn and lifted a delicate finish into the far corner. He claimed the match ball with another fine effort, rounding the goalkeeper confidently to slam home his hat-trick goal.
On repeat 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/ms5nvGo1sm
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) December 26, 2023
A big performance in an important win for Nottingham Forest, who had gone seven league games without a win before their upset victory in the North East.