BERLIN: Germany winger Andre Schuerrle claimed the first Bundesliga hat trick of his career on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) as Wolfsburg routed bottom side Hanover 96 4-0 away in the German league.
It was Schuerrle’s cross at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana which saw Mario Goetze score Germany’s winning goal in the 2014 World Cup finals.
But the 25-year-old Schuerrle has struggled to hold down a first-team place since joining Wolfsburg from Chelsea a year ago.
“I already have the match ball in the changing room,” beamed Schuerrle as Wolfsburg got back to winning ways after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich.
“I was playing more as a striker tonight and the change paid off. Of course I’m pleased, but it’s the sort of game which is good for the soul.”
March 1 is a lucky day for Schuerrle who also scored a hat-trick for Chelsea against Fulham in the Premier League exactly two years ago.
His performance will boost his standing at Wolfsburg and in this one game he has scored more goals than in his previous 33 matches for the Champions League side.
He needed just 26 minutes to score three goals before Germany team-mate Julian Draxler added Wolfsburg’s fourth at Hanover’s HDI Arena.
Schuerrle opened the scoring by firing home Draxler’s pass in off the post on 36 minutes.
He doubled his tally on 59 minutes and then claimed his third less than three minutes later when he chested the ball down and fired home with a superb shot.
He could have finished with four goals after his chip went just wide of the post before Draxler netted Wolfsburg’s fourth on 69 minutes.
The win leaves Wolfsburg eighth while Hanover are bottom and six points from safety.
The German FA (DFB) is expected to fine both clubs after one of the flares fired from the away fan block hit the Hanover bench before kick-off, but no one was hurt.