Aided by playing in an attack-minded AS Monaco FC side, Emmanuel Rivière scored his maiden Ligue 1 treble against Montpellier Hérault SC this weekend.
Rivière's exploits helped Monaco up to second in the French top flight, with Olympique Lyonnais leading the way. Falcao opened the scoring for the principality side against Montpellier, but then it was all about another summer signing. Given a starting berth in the absence of João Moutinho and James Rodríguez, Rivière struck three times, including a splendid lob to restore the hosts' advantage before half-time.
"I have dreamed about this and now I have done it," said the 23-year-old, clutching the match ball. "I still can't believe it. That's my first hat-trick and it feels exceptional, wonderful." Rivière now sits top of the Ligue 1 scoring charts with four goals, ahead of the likes of team-mate Falcao and Paris Saint-Germain FC duo Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
"I've been fighting since the beginning of pre-season," he added. "I'm trying to give everything and it has worked. However, now the hardest thing will be to continue this, so I will need to keep working and scoring over and over again."
Rivière's coach, Claudio Ranieri, is glad to have the player at his disposal. "Last year he had some problems with his ankle, but now he is ready both physically and mentally," said the Italian. "He's playing well, he's scoring and everybody is happy."
Equally comfortable as a centre-forward or out wide, Rivière has already equalled his tally from last season. Though not as high-profile as many of this summer's recruits, the man who arrived from Toulouse FC in January looks like he could still have a sizeable role to play.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.