American Football

Joaquin, 38, betters Di Stefano record with La Liga hat-trick

But that all changed within the space of 20 dramatic minutes at the Benito Villamarin stadium as Joaquin netted three times for his Real Betis side on the way to its 3-2 victory over the visitor.At the ripe old age of 38 years and 140 days, Joaquin became the oldest player to score a La Liga hat-trick, breaking the record set by the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, who was 37 years and 255 days old when he achieved the feat for Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid on 15th March 1964.It was a clinical display of finishing by Joaquin, with his three shots on target yielding three goals and taking his tally to six for the season for his mid-table side.His goals came in the second, 11th and finally 20th minute with a superb first time strike to complete his hat-trick against a team previously boasting the best defensive record in La Liga.Bilbao hit back with a 44th minute penalty through Inaki Williams and a 75th minute goal from Yuri Berchiche to set up a nervy finale for the home team, which dominated while its inspirational captain Joaquin achieved his remarkable record feat in his 553rd La Liga appearance.Barcelona still leads the way in Spain on goal difference from arch-rival Real Madrid after a Lionel Messi hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Mallorca Saturday night with Athletic Bilbao missing the chance to move into the top four with its defeat.

Vardy on fire

Meanwhile, in the English Premier League another thirty something is leading Leicester City's burgeoning title challenge.Jamie Vardy, 32, scored twice in his side's 4-1 victory at promoted Aston Villa, cutting Liverpool's runaway lead at the top to eight points after 16 games.The former England striker opened his account after 20 minutes from Kelechi Iheanacho's through ball, converting at the second attempt to extend his run of scoring to eight straight league games.