Adebayo scores after 18 seconds, completes hat trick in Luton's rout of Brighton
LUTON, England (AP) — Luton striker Elijah Adebayo scored a hat trick — including a first goal after just 18 seconds — in a 4-0 thrashing of Brighton to climb out of the Premier League's relegation zone on Tuesday.
The promoted team cruised to victory in front of captain Tom Lockyer, who attended the match while he recovers from suffering cardiac arrest during a Premier League match at Bournemouth in December.
In a sensational start to the game, Adebayo's opener was followed by another goal by Chiedozie Ogbene inside three minutes at Kenilworth Road.
Only once in the Premier League's 32-year history has a team scored two goals earlier from the start of a match, according to the competition's statistics supplier Opta. That was Leicester in April 1998 against Derby.
Adebayo ran in behind Brighton's wide-open defense to convert a shot for his second goal in the 42nd and he completed his hat trick in the 56nd, becoming the first Luton player to grab three goals in one top-flight game since Lars Elstrup in September 1990.
Luton jumped above Everton into fourth-to-last place and looks increasingly capable of avoiding going down in its first season back in the top division. Rob Edwards' team has only lost one of its last eight games in all competitions.
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