Manchester United's top 3 knockout matches on Boxing Day
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second coming got to a resounding and uplifting start with a 5-1 thumping of Cardiff. The hero of Camp Nou will have his second home debut on a very special day of the calendar.
On this Boxing Day, United welcome Huddersfield who arrive on a 5-match losing streak and languishing in the relegation zone. David Wagner’s team will be dreading the resurgent Devils who will be champing at the bits to enthral the United faithful and snap out of the ‘Dwam of Mourinho’ into the ‘Dawn of Ole’.
He would be aware of the United’s intention to strike hard and strike first.
United will expect to gain some momentum after the victory in Wales and anything but a win will bring the tarp over the honeymoon period. Even the United manager will know that ‘one Solskjaer doesn't make an entire season’- even if it be the 'hOLE-day season.
Ole will be hoping that United can deliver an early knockout punch to the free-falling visitors or in pugilistic phraseology an iron fist inside a velvet glove. But notwithstanding history and fact, what is Christmas without some fisticuffs, eh!
What is so special about Boxing Day?
Boxing Day, unlike how it sounds, has nothing to do with Boxing or any sports for that matter, even though likes of football, cricket (Australia vs India!), racing etc. It has everything to do with Christmas though as well its spirit of giving and munificence.
The origins of the day chronicle an old tradition of giving Christmas boxes i.e. ones with gifts or treats – to labourers, helpers and service providers for their earnest work and devotion to duty.
Such patronage and regard in anachronistic for this day and age of individualism and rasterized existence, but it remains one of those lingering memories of a gentler holiday spirit or maybe even a ghost of the Christmases past.
The day offers a unique recipe for entertainment and to put it into a microcosm, the just look at the scoreboard for matches on the Boxing Day of 1963:
*A grand total of 66 goals and 7 hat tricks in 10 games.
** Reverse fixtures were played after 48 hours in which Manchester United beat Burnley 5-1 at Old Trafford. Ipswich and West Ham United also salvaged lost pride by managing 4-2 and 3-1 victories after being thrashed by nine and six goals (respectively) on Boxing Day.
For football in the UK and particularly in England, it offers a feast unrivalled in the world of football. When the rest of Europe is ensconced in the warm and fuzzy festivities of the holiday languor, the festive period provides an all action, star-studded and physically unforgiving fixture list.
It may be likened to a ‘Hell in a Cell’ match in the WWE; you are never the same after enduring one!
The teams who play on the Boxing Day will have two more matches within a period of seven days games (some play twice in 48 hours). The Premier League this year will see 18 teams playing on Boxing Day (Southampton vs West Ham is on the following day).
What is so special about Manchester United on Boxing Day?
For Manchester United, the day brings a rich tapestry of comebacks, last minute winners, own goals, unlikely heroes and a whole lot of success. United is the most successful side in terms of Boxing Day results.
United have won nearly 55 per cent of the games they've played on Boxing Day - a better record than any other club in England. They've played 94 times on December 26, winning 51 (19 in PL), drawing 16 (3 in PL) and losing 27 (2 in Premier PL).
With 190 (62 in PL) Boxing Day goals in total - more than any other team, United are sitting proudly atop the Boxing Day charts
Unfurling through the pages of history, here are three colossal hits to revisit: