The Boxing Day traditionally produces some thrilling football and this year was no different. There were some intriguing fixtures which produced some good football all over the country. There were also some extra-ordinary results on the night keeping the unpredictability of this year’s league intact. Here are 10 things we learnt from the Boxing Day fixtures.
1. Good Bye Van Gaal?
Manchester United slumped to their 3rd consecutive defeat when they lost 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. They are now winless in the last 6 games in all competitions and the manager is on the brink of losing his job. Though the busy period might not be the time to get in an interim manager, the board will surely look at other options which means LVG might be all but done in Manchester.
2. Pardew’s men held by Cherries:
Crystal Palace have been one of the consistent teams this season in the Premier League. A victory against Bournemouth would have taken them closer to the European spots but a gritty effort from the home side frustrated Pardew’s men in a 0-0 draw. With this draw, Palace are just 2 points away from the top 4 spots.
3. Foxes finally lose:
After a run of 11 un-beaten games in all competitions, Leicester City were beaten 1-0 by Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. Liverpool in this game became just the first side to keep a clean sheet against the Foxes and provided a reality check at the top of the table. It will be interesting to see if Leicester City bounces back from this defeat against Manchester City in the next match day.
4. Harry Kane is back:
Tottenham Hotspur were favorites going into this game against Norwich City and they showed no nerves as they put three past the Canaries and also kept a clean sheet. Harry Kane picked up a brace on the night and showed his importance to the side giving them all three point and taking them to the 4th place in the table.
5. Allardyce is in trouble:
Sunderland are in the midst of a relegation battle yet again this season. They would have hoped to frustrate City at the Etihad but were just blown away in the first half in a 4-1 victory for the hosts. This result sees the Black Cats in the 19th position and 5 point away from safety. They will welcome Liverpool in the next game that is very important for the club and the manager.
6. Watford a serious threat to top clubs:
Sanchez Flores has his team playing some impressive football this season. His style of play is not only effective against mid table sides but has bought some great results even against the Top sides. After a 3-0 victory against Liverpool, they did exceptionally well to get a point from the Stamford Bridge in Hiddink’s first game in charge at the club. They are now just 3 point away from the European spots.
7. In-valuable victory for Swansea:
West Bromwich Albion is known for grinding results out from tough situations but an early goal from Sung-Yong Ki was enough for Swansea to take all three points from the game. The Irish outfit were never really under pressure defending after taking the lead and finished off a well deserved game and took all three points. They are now 16th in the table just a point off the relegation zone.
8. Hammers gift Villians a point:
The bottom placed Aston Villa side did really well to come back after an early goal by West Ham to clinch a vital point from this game. Ayew cancelled out a well stuck goal from Cresswell that saw the teams share the points on the night. This is not the best result for Remi Garde, but he will take a point over none in a game that could have gone either way.
9. Three crucial points for the Toffees:
Everton went winless in the last 4 games in the Premier League but clinched all there points against he Magpies on Saturday. A late goal from Tom Cleverly was enough to see of the hosts in a thrilling game that could have seen both teams take a point if not for Cleverly. This win sees Everton in the 9th place leaving Newcastle United in the relegation zone.
10. Arsenal miss a chance to go onto the top:
Southampton after a series of disappointing results came up with a master piece at St Marys when they blew away an Arsenal side that were just not present on the day. Arsenal were outplayed in every area and never got a foothold in the game. They will rue this result as a victory could have seen them clinch the top spot in the Barclays Premier League table.