5 best team performances in the Premier League on Boxing Day
The 26th of December. A date that is unique to English football. A day that the rest of the world is getting back to normal after celebrating Christmas. But in England, footballers get ready for matches in the heart of the festive period.
It is this period when seasons have turned on their head. A case in point came as recently as the 2013/14 season, when Liverpool went into Christmas top of the league, but found themselves outside the top four at the beginning of the new year.
Generally, all 20 teams in the league play on Boxing Day but this year, TV broadcast obligations mean that only 16 teams play on the 26th. Liverpool play Stoke at Anfield the following day before Tottenham make the trip to Southampton on the 28th of December.
Over the years, Boxing Day has given us many memorable games and performances to cherish. We take a look at the 5 most memorable team performances from Boxing Days over the years.
#1 Manchester United vs Newcastle United – 2012
In Sir Alex Ferguson’s last Boxing Day fixture as manager, United put on a performance that typified them under Ferguson. Newcastle were the visitors to Old Trafford and gave the hosts an almighty scare. But United, as they always seemed to do under Ferguson, found a way to win that game.
Goals from James Perch, Papiss Cisse and an own goal from Jonny Evans ensured that Newcastle took the lead on three separate occasions but they were pegged back on all three occasions. Evans scored at the right end to make it 1-1, Patrice Evra made it 2-2 and Robin van Persie made it 3-3.
But then, Javier Hernandez stepped up in injury time to score the winner. “Fergie Time” as they called it. It is poetic that Ferguson’s last Boxing Day fixture should end with his team scoring late in the game.