Independiente supporters can attest to Emiliano Rigoni’s goal scoring capibilities after an increase in the forward’s end-product during the final six months at the club but on Thursday afternoon, the 24-year-old struck his first career hat-trick for Zenit St. Petersburg.
The Russian club defeated Rosenborg 3-0 to maintain a 100% start to the tournament and top Group L. Despite all five of Zenit’s Argentinians starting, there was no doubting who had left the greatest mark as Rigoni scored all three to take his tally to five in three Europa League fixtures.
— FC Zenit in English (@fczenit_en) October 19, 2017
A smart header gave Zenit the lead inside a minute and as Roberto Mancini’s side continued to dominate, Rigoni raced onto a Leandro Paredes pass to lift the ball over the goalkeeper to double the lead.
If poor goalkeeping helped Rigoni to his second, the Argentina forward was gifted his hat-trick as Nicklas Bendtner’s wayward backpass sent him through one-on-one to slot in number three.
Elsewhere in the same group, goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli started as Real Sociedad thrashed Macedonian club Vardar 6-0.
In Group I, Lucas Ocampos’ fine start to the season continued as Marseille defeated Guimaraes. Despite falling behind early in the Stade Vélodrome, Ocampos equalised with an acrobatic volley before turning provider in the 76th minute to set up Maxime Lopez’s winner.
Lucas Ocampos’ last three games for Marseille in all competitions:
Finding his form. pic.twitter.com/BgVbsSeP8A
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 19, 2017
It is easy to forget Ocampos’ age and potential given the number of false starts in his career but the 23-year-old appears to be finding his best form and certainly has all the tools to still meet the expectations created as a River Plate teenager.
Alejandro Gómez couldn’t quite get himself on the scoresheet but his Atalanta side enjoyed a 3-1 win over Cypriot club Apollon to take a commanding position at the top of Group E and in Group D, AC Milan were held to a goalless draw by AEK Athens. Mateo Musacchio played the full 90 minutes for the Italians while striker Sergio Araujo was introduced by the Greeks on the hour mark.