Premier League

The best Boxing Day matches in Premier League history

The best Boxing Day matches in Premier League history

It's that time of the year again: Boxing Day, the day after Christmas when fans and families tune into some of the best Premier League fixtures. The wait is extra special this year, given that these are the first matches since the World Cup ended.

While the likes of Arsenal, , and Liverpool kick off on Monday, December 26, let's look back at some of the best Boxing Day fixtures to date.

5. Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Manchester United, 1992

This classic Boxing Day match from 1992 between Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United is a prime example of why these fixtures are so beloved by fans.

Manchester United aimed to win their first top-flight title in 26 years, led by the great and Eric Cantona, whom the Red Devils signed for £1 million in early December. But it wouldn't come easy.

Sheffield Wednesday took the early lead at Hillsborough, scoring three within the first hour of the match. But Fergie's United came crawling back, with veteran forward Brian McClair netting twice in just 13 minutes.

Cantona stepped up to deliver the equalizer in the 84th minute, which proved to set the tone for Fergie's never say die attitude that defined Man United afterward. United won 13 Premier League titles under Sir Alex.

4. Bolton 4-3 Newcastle United, 2002

Imagine gathering around the television to watch this doozy. Sam Allardyce's men took the lead through a Jay-Jay Okocha top-shelf blast in the 8th minute, followed by an instant rebuttal from Newcastle's goal-machine Alan Shearer.

Ricardo Gardner's free-kick took Bolton up 2-1 a minute later, with the Wanderers forward Michael Ricketts adding a brace to make it 4-1 up to the 71st minute. Newcastle's Shola Ameobi added one, and Shearer added a thunderbolt in the 79th minute with all momentum suggesting a comeback.

But Bolton held on in what was a superb match that certainly deserves its place on this list.

⏪ #ThrowbackThursday | Bolton 4-3 Newcastle 2002

⏪ #ThrowbackThursdayTaking it back to Boxing Day 2002…🎁Goals from Jay-Jay Okocha, Ricardo Gardner and Michael Ricketts (2) ensured that Wanderers edged a seven-goal thriller against Newcastle United. ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️#BWFC 🐘🏰

Posted by Bolton Wanderers Official on Thursday, July 23, 2020

3. Chelsea 4-4 , 2007

Absolute scenes — that's the only way to describe the Boxing Day match that took place between Chelsea and Aston Villa at the Bridge in 2007.

The Villians went ahead 2-0, thanks to some rare goalie blunders from Petr Cech. But Chelsea stormed back in the second half with two successive goals from Andriy Shevchenko.

Avram Grant's Chelsea side looked the part, going up 3-2 and then 4-3 after a Michael Ballack free-kick with just two minutes to play. But an Ashley Cole handball gifted a Gareth Barry equalizing penalty with seconds waning in injury time. Chelsea finished second in the Premier League that year and lost to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final.

2. Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle, 2012

Manchester United delivered a stunning comeback against the Magpies on Boxing Day in 2012.

The end-to-end match brought the best out of the Old Trafford crowd as a Robin Van Persie equalizer in the 71st minute. But it was the clutch Mexican striker Chicharito who delivered Newcastle the final blow with a game-winning goal in the 90th minute.

It was the kind of game that typified Sir Alex Ferguson's pertinacity after going behind three times in this game alone. The victory gave United a seven-point lead in the Premier League table, which the Red Devils hung on to wrap up Sir Alex's historic 13 Premier League winning seasons.

1. Fulham 10-1 Ipswich, 1963

Boxing Day in 1963 was something else.

All ten matches on December 26 ended with high scores, but of the 66 goals scored that day, one game stood out the most: Fulham vs. Ipswich.

Fulham scored a whopping ten goals against Ipswich. Right-winger Graham Leggat netted three goals in three minutes; the fastest hat trick in English football history before broke it 52 years later.

Photo: Twitter/RedRevil

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