Phil Brown’s half-time antics, a Manchester United vs Newcastle classic, and Chelsea’s eight-goal thriller December 25, 2020 – Posted in: Soccer

At this time of year, it’s important to remember the real meaning of Christmas.

It’s not about the presents, or the untold amount of food and drink. It’s about football.

Supporters from up and down the country, dressed in embarrassing jumpers they must pretend to like, escape to a winter wonderland of sport on December 26th each year.

Manchester United get festive with a huge Christmas tree.

But if you’re stuck inside with the relatives, fear not, because talkSPORT will be streaming every game exclusively live on our app!

To get you in the mood, plays the Ghost of Christmas Past, taking you through some of the very best fixtures from the Premier League’s favourite day of the year.

So, know them better now, and revisit some Christmas crackers as we build up to the next round of festive fixtures.

Bolton 4-3 Newcastle, 2002

Defending often seems to take Christmas off and 2002 was no exception. When three goals were scored in the first ten minutes, it was clear football fans were in for a festive treat.

Michael Ricketts in action for Bolton.

Michael Ricketts in action for Bolton.

An Alan Shearer equaliser in between goals from Jay-Jay Okocha and Ricardo Gardner set the tone for a thrilling encounter. Michael Ricketts, who once played for England, scored a brace before Shola Ameobi and Shearer set up a tense finish.

Charlton 4-2 Chelsea, 2003

Roman Abramovich’s first blue Christmas didn’t quite go to plan. It took Charlton just 42 seconds to take the lead.

John Terry did equalise but the Addicks were in winter wonderland as they cruised to a 4-1 lead with goals from Matt Holland, Jonatan Johansson and Jason Euell.

Hermann Hreidarsson celbrates scoring for Charlton in the match.

Hermann Hreidarsson celbrates scoring for Charlton in the match.

Eidur Gudjohnsen’s consolation for the Blues did nothing to stop the Valley faithful enjoying a particularly merry Christmas.

Chelsea 4-4 Aston Villa, 2007

Villa have had their fair share of Christmas crackers on Boxing Day. With three red cards and eight goals, this one had it all.

The Claret and Blues took a shock 2-0 lead courtesy of a Shaun Maloney double, but Zat Knight’s red card paved the way for Chelsea’s Andriy Shevchenko to bag twice and level the scoring.

John Carew attempts to get past Michael Ballack.

John Carew attempts to get past Michael Ballack.

The game looked beyond ten-man Villa when Alex put Chelsea ahead, but Martin Laursen equalised to make it 3-3 with 18 minutes remaining. And the pendulum swung further in Villa’s favour when Ricardo Carvalho’s red card evened up the numbers.

But it was the Blues who appeared to snatch victory with a Michael Ballack free-kick.

If you can believe it, the game turned once more when Ashley Cole was sent off for handling on the line, before Gareth Barry rescued a point leaving everyone in Stamford Bridge totally bewildered.

Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal, 2008

It wasn’t all that long ago that Villa were challenging for the Premier League top four.

The Gunners, meanwhile, were hoping to strengthen their title credentials and looked to have done so when goals from Denilson and Abou Diaby put them ahead either side of half-time.

Brazil star Denilson celebrates netting against Villa.

Brazil star Denilson celebrates netting against Villa.

Villa were hoping for a Christmas miracle and it came to them in the shape of a Gareth Barry spot kick, followed by a last-gasp equaliser by Zat Knight.

Manchester City 5-1 Hull, 2008

Boxing Day 2008 was immortalised by Phil Brown for one of the most iconic team talks in Premier League history.

The Tigers looked to be suffering from a Christmas day hangover in the first-half and found themselves 4-0 down to City at half time.

Brown sat his men down on the pitch in front of the travelling Hull fans and unleashed a very public verbal tirade.

Phil Brown ticks off his Hull City side during a Boxing Day classic against Manchester City.

Phil Brown ticks off his Hull City side during a Boxing Day classic against Manchester City.

It did little to change the outcome, as City still won by a comfortable margin, but they did get a goal back – great job Phil!

Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle, 2012

Boxing Day 2019 sees a repeat of this tasty fixture and if it’s anything like the 2012 edition, we’re in for a treat.

This game saw Champions-elect Man United come from behind three times to steal a dramatic victory.

James Perch gave the Magpies an early lead before Jonny Evans equalised, but the United defender cancelled out his goal by then turning the ball into his own net, restoring Newcastle’s lead. Patrice Evra levelled once again with a low drive before a Papiss Cisse special made it 3-2.

Manchester United players celebrate their late winner.

Manchester United players celebrate their late winner.

Robin van Persie scored to make it 3-3 and Javier Hernandez scored a trademark winner to put United in front for the first time in the last minute.

Harry Kane smashed Alan Shearer’s Premier League record for goals scored in a calendar year by hitting a hat-trick in Tottenham’s 5-2 mauling of Southampton.

Kane needed only one goal to pass the 36 scored by Shearer in 1995 but the Spurs striker banged in three at Wembley to finish 2017 on an astonishing 39 goals in 36 league matches.

Kane broke records last year.

Kane broke records last year.

Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son helped put Southampton out of sight in the second half despite Sofiane Boufal pulling one back at 4-0 and substitute Dusan Tadic reducing the deficit late on.

A controversial stoppage-time goal salvaged a 3-3 draw for Bournemouth against West Ham in a thrilling Premier League encounter at Dean Court.

Callum Wilson was credited with the Cherries’ third after he had the final touch as Nathan Ake headed goalwards. There was a suspicion of offside and handball but referee Bobby Madley eventually awarded the equaliser after a lengthy conversation with assistant Simon Long.

Wilson’s disputed effort cancelled out a brace from Hammers forward Marko Arnautovic that had David Moyes’ travelling side expecting victory.

Players argue with referee Bobby Madley.

Players argue with referee Bobby Madley.

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