Eintracht Frankfurt scored seven goals against Fortuna Düsseldorf in matchday eight's opener in the Bundesliga, but the game was less about the scoreline and more about the man who scored five of the seven.
Frankfurt head coach Adi Hütter held a hand on his head. It was like watching Pep Guardiola when Robert Lewandowski scored five goals for Bayern Munich back in 2015. It might not have been in nine minutes, but it was equally unbelievable. Luka Jovic scoring five goals in one game is remarkable, but it wasn't just the number of times the Serb found the back of the net for Frankfurt on Friday night but also the manner that made it so special.
Jovic's first was an acrobatic volley that saw the 20-year-old twist his body enough in mid-air to strike the ball without even looking at it. Then came a well-timed effort from the edge of the box and the hat-trick was secured with a tidy touch, turn and finish in the box. Jovic wasn't finished dining out on Düsseldorf's dire defending though. The fourth came off the inside of the near post, trickling its way across the line before the fifth was headed in. And all of this on a night when fellow striker Sebastien Haller joined in on the feast that was Düsseldorf's defense, scoring two and assisting two more.
The goals were an example of the youngster's brilliant finishing, but also his sense for when to even go for goal. Thomas Müller, admittedly not very often of late, is credited with scoring goals from awkward angles, but Jovic appears to possess a skill for scoring brilliant strikes from those same difficult angles. The German Cup semifinal winning goal against Schalke last year, where Jovic ran to the near post before flicking on with the outside of his boot, springs to mind. Former Frankfurt head coach Niko Kovac suggested once to Frankfurter Rundschau he last saw such quality in front of goal from Davor Suker.
Time to make him it permanent?
Jovic is into the second year of his loan spell at Frankfurt and he already looks set to do even better this campaign, which wasn't a given. Jovic might have fired Frankfurt to the German Cup final, but he watched the final from the bench. He then had the unexpected joy of being named in Serbia's World Cup squad this summer, but played just two minutes. He also started the first two games of this league season on the bench. He has been a fire waiting to burn.
In the same way Dortmund's seven-goal hammering of Nuremberg shouldn't be seen as the measure of performance, Frankfurt's dismantling of Düsseldorf is not a game to make grand declarations from. Jovic has made history by scoring five goals - he's both the youngest player to ever do it in the Bundesliga and the first for Frankfurt - but it came against remarkably weak opposition. The truth lies in the fact that Jovic has scored in each of his last five games, including against Marseille, Lazio and Hoffenheim.
Now would be as good as time as any to state that, per Frankfurter Rundschau, negotiating a €12.5 million buy-option into Jovic's loan deal was excellent business by Frankfurt. Spread out over two seasons, that would equal just six million and given Jovic's remarkable potential, that looks like money Frankfurt should definitely spend.