Dimitar Berbatov’s hat-trick against Liverpool on Sunday, which included an audacious overhead kick, sealed a crucial win for Manchester United. Moreover, it was the first hat-trick by a United player in this fixture since Stan Pearson scored three for United in a 5-0 trot past their ancient rivals on September 11, 1946 in a match played at Man City’s Maine Road due to the wartime damage to Old Trafford.
Pearson was a featured forward for United that season, as Liverpool pipped them to the title by by one point. Pearson, who served during the War, would finish his career at Bury and at Chester where he briefly managed. He remains the 10th highest goalscorer for United in all competitions, while Berba lurks at number 75. As recently as this summer few would have thought that Berba would ever find the consistency to stay on Sir Alex Ferguson’s good side to challenge for records in red, but here he is, scoring beautiful goals and adding his name to the glorious lore of one of football’s biggest rivalries.