Boxing Day is a day for a lot of us to relax after the busy Christmas holiday the day prior. For the 20 teams in the Barclays Premier League in England, it is a day filled with action, drama, and hard work.
This year there were ten games on tap on Boxing Day in the BPL ranging from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. Here is a recap of all the day’s action.
Stoke City 2-0 over Manchester United
The Spanish forward Bojan gave Stoke a 1-0 after 19 minutes, which was later extended to 2-0 after Marko Arnautovic striked just seven minutes later. Manchester United’s dismal run continued with pressure continuing to mount on Manager Louie Van Gaal‘s future with the club.
Bournemouth 0-0 draw vs Crystal Palace
Not tons of action here at the Vitality Stadium, however a good result for both clubs to share the spoils and get at least a point each. Eddie Howe‘s Bournemouth mounted 55% of the possession, but both teams only mustered a combined four shots on target.
Liverpool with huge 1-0 victory over first-place Leicester City
Christian Benteke‘s strike in the 63rd minute gave Jurgen Klopp‘s men a huge win at Anfield. This was Leicester City’s first loss of the season since September 26th against Arsenal. The Foxes now have to prepare for a match with fourth-place Manchester City on the 29th.
Tottenham cruise to 3-0 victory over visiting Norwich City
Harry Kane‘s first half brace gave Mauricio Pocchetino‘s men a 2-0 lead into the halftime break. Tom Carroll‘s wonder-strike made it 3-0 which would be the final at White Hart Lane. Tottenham have only lost one game in their last 13 in all competitions.
Manchester City steamrolls Sunderland 4-1 at Etihad
A great result for Manuel Pellegrini‘s Citizens after a tough loss earlier in the week to Arsenal. Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, and Kevin De Bruyne all tallied goals for the highest scoring team in the BPL. Fabio Borini scored a 59th minute consolation for the Black Cats.
Chelsea squanders chances in 2-2 draw with Watford
Diego Costa‘s brace was the highlight of the match for Chelsea, however Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo each tallied for Watford in comeback fashion. Oscar‘s missed penalty in the 80th minute was the deciding blow in the match, which saw new manager Guus Hiddink earn at least a point in his first match in charge of the Blues.
Ki’s tally earned Swansea a much-needed 1-0 win over West Brom
Ki Sung-Yueng‘s tip-in goal after nine minutes was all Swansea City needed to earn their first win since October. Interim Manager Alan Curtis had his first victory in charge of the Swans. West Brom have not won a game in their last five league fixtures.
Aston Villa draws with West Ham United 1-1 at Villa Park
Aaron Cresswell gave the Hammers a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break after striking in stoppage time. Jordan Ayew‘s penalty kick in the 62nd minute gave Villa a share of the spoils at home. Remi Garde‘s squad forced Hammer goalkeeper Adrian to make seven saves in the match.
Cleverley’s late goal gave Everton a 1-0 victory at Newcastle
Tom Cleverley‘s header in the final minute of second-half stoppage time gave Roberto Martinez‘s group a win on the road. Newcastle only mustered one save out of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Southampton crushes Arsenal 4-0 at St Mary’s Stadium
Cuco Martina‘s beautiful wonder strike in the 19th minute sparked Southampton to an early 1-0 lead. Shane Long added a second half brace, with defender Jose Fonte adding a header goal in between the two. Ronald Koeman‘s squad earned themselves their first victory since the beginning of November. Arsenal dominated with 65% of the possession, but looked completely shell-shocked in defeat.
Boxing Day was an enjoyable day all around the Barclays Premier League, especially for the teams that came out on top with victories. According to TalkSport, “Tottenham, Stoke City, and Southampton all starred on Boxing Day.”
Look for these results to spark an even better second half of the season in 2016.
Larry Henry Jr
Spark Sports Analyst