Seven Greatest Boxing Day Premier League clashes
Sam Barnard | 26 December 2016
Boxing Day matches have long been a tradition in football’s, and in particular the English top flight and Premier League’s, calendar, but which ones stand out most?
For some reason December 26th brings out the best in attacking players, and the worst in defenders, as over the years fixtures on the festive holiday have produced goals galore.
Coral writers have therefore delved through the history of the PL, since 1992, and picked out the seven most sensational clashes to have occurred on December 26th, in chronological order…
Sheff Weds 3-3 Man Utd (1992)
We start off way back in 1992, during the Premier League’s first-ever Boxing Day round of fixtures, and this match is arguably what inspired Manchester United to dominate the division for years to come.
Sheffield Wednesday looked on their way to a win at Hillsborough, as they lead 3-0 just after the hour mark. However, a Brian McClair brace followed by a late Eric Cantona equaliser ensured the eventual champions took away a point.
Arsenal 6-1 Leicester City (2000)
Skipping forward eight years, an even higher scoring affair near the end of the Millennium year saw Arsenal thrash Leicester City 6-1 in true Gunners style.
What makes it all the more remarkable, though, is that Arsene Wenger’s men were only 1-0 at half-time, but Thierry Henry’s hat-trick eventually inspired the north Londoners to a devastating defeat of the Foxes at Highbury.
Bolton Wanderers 4-3 Newcastle Utd (2002)
Seven goals again were witnessed in this match two years later, but this time it was a far closer scoreline as hosts Bolton Wanderers managed to hold off a late charge from Newcastle United.
Premier League legends Jay-Jay Okocha and Alan Shearer were among three scorers in the first 10 minutes of the game, but the latter and Shola Ameobi were just unable to overturn a 4-1 deficit.
Charlton Athletic 4-2 Chelsea (2003)
Just one year later, teams were at it again in another thriller; on this occasion Charlton Athletic were able to topple Chelsea, who were then only recently taken over by Roman Abramovich.
The Addicks are now sitting in mid-table in League One, but over a decade ago upset the Blues with a team consisting of Paolo Di Canio and Scott Parker.
Chelsea 4-4 Aston Villa (2007)
Aston Villa have been on the receiving end of a number of thrashings at the hands of Chelsea over the years, including an 8-0 walloping on December 23rd in 2012.
However, five years before then the Villans secured a thrilling draw thanks to Gareth Barry’s injury-time penalty in a fierce affair that saw three players sent off. It is often mentioned as one of the greatest matches in history, let alone on Boxing Day.
Man City 5-1 Hull (2008)
The scoreline in this match back in 2008 has largely been long forgotten, thanks to a bizarre moment that overshadowed it at half-time.
Phil Brown’s now infamous team-talk on the pitch during the break, after his Hull City side went 4-0 down, failed to inspire them to a comeback – although they did score one only to concede another.
It did, however, inspire future player Jimmy Bullard to do a goal celebrating mocking the incident just under a year later against Manchester City again. That time they drew 1-1.
Hull coincidentally face Man City again this Boxing Day, and are 9/2 with Coral to claim a draw at the KC Stadium.
Man Utd 4-3 Newcastle (2012)
Man Utd somehow nearly always be involved in high-scoring Boxing Day clashes, and their duel with the Magpies four years ago was one of the best.
Exactly 10 years after being beaten by Bolton 4-3 away, the Red Devils inflicted the same scoreline on Newcastle in a see-saw scrap that saw Javier Hernandez eventually provide a late winner.
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