Mehdi Taremi was quick to deliver a statement performance in response to his critics at Sporting CP as the Iranian striker bagged a hat-trick during Porto’s 7-0 thrashing of Portimonense in Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
However, it turned out to be a disastrous night for another Iranian on the pitch, Payam Niazmand, who made only his first league appearance between the posts for Portimonense.
It took Taremi 19 minutes to open the scoring for the Dragões, when the Iranian controlled a Fabio Vieira’s low cross in the box before turning goalwards to put the ball past his fellow countryman.
The Iranian then approached a behind-the-goal camera to celebrate, making a ‘shhh’ gesture, presumably aimed at Sporting CP.
In an article published on Sporting’s official website days earlier, the Iranian international had been labeled as a “snake charmer” and “swindler” who carries out “circus acts” when going down in the box to convince the referees to blow in their whistles for a penalty.
Taremi provided Marko Grujic with an assist in the 28th minute before wrong-footing Niazmand from the spot six minutes later for Porto’s third of the night.
Brazilian Evanilson scored first of his double five minutes before the break and Taremi completed his second hat-trick of the season with two minutes into the second half, heading home another Vieira’s cross into the bottom-left corner.
Portuguese international Pepe and Evanilson got on the score sheet to round off the victory for Porto, which edged ever closer to a third league title in five seasons.
The official Twitter account of the Portuguese league praised the Iranian in a post, writing: “Taremi fasts during the day in the month of Ramadan, and eases his hunger with goals in the night. Taremi was unstoppable and scored a hat-trick for the Dragões.”
Taremi’s strikes took his tally to 18 league goals this season – 22 in all competitions – three more than the Iranian managed across the whole league campaign last term.
Next for Porto and Taremi is a home encounter against Sporting in the second leg of the Portuguese cup semifinal on Thursday.
Porto won the first leg 2-1.