UEFA Champions League: 4 memorable hat-tricks in the Round of 16 over the years
Two months after the group round concluded, the Champions League is back and underway with the first of the knockout stages, the Round of 16. With half of the participants eliminated, the remaining battle it out to progress further to the business end of the competition.
The first knockout round is not particularly remembered for producing fierce contests. However, the round has been marked over the years by memorable individual performances that have had a big impact on the outcome of respective ties.
Here's a look at four such individuals whose hat-tricks became part of folklore in the competition's history.
#1 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Benfica (2016/17)
Having been subdued throughout the first leg defeat at Benfica, the Borussia Dortmund striker brought his A-game in the return leg at home, netting his first UCL hat-trick. That combined with Pulisic's debut tournament goal helped the German giants to overturn a 0-1 deficit with a 4-0 mauling of the visitors, eventually progresssing 4-1 on aggregate.
The Gabon international took only four minutes to level things, and added two more in the second half.
However, Dortmund crashed out in the quarters at the hands of a Monaco side bustling with young talent of the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Mendy and Bernardo Silva, being outclassed 6-3 on aggregate.
Although Aubameyang remained scoreless throughout the tie, he ended up with seven goals in the tournament, his best showing.